100% Sneaky.
Here’s a product I won’t buy again. I only bought it the first time because OceanSpray’s plan to deceive me worked.
All the nonsense and boderline lies on this bottle may be legal but using deception to sell your product is a crappy way to treat your customers. It’s unnecessary too. In this case, the pictured item is a rather nice juice.
But contrary to your impression from the label, itis not 100% Ruby Red Grapefruit juice. It’s got ruby red apple juice in it to stretch it out. It also contains not-so-ruby-red grape juice. The juices are from concentrate.  So OceanSpray must also add some water to it. Well, I suppose if you take out the juice water and then put back some “filtered” water you have the same net juice. 100% juice!
But wait! This 100% juicealso contains calcium gloconate, calcium lactate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), citric acid, natural flavor and good ole red #40. No wonder this country is failing at math. I thought 100% meant all. I’m sure OceanSpray’s lawyers can explain all those “ingredients” as having been extracted from juice so we’re still in the realm of 100% juice. Errr. Except for #40 Red Dye. Well, it’s probably so little that it would be stupid to say it’s 99.99999254% juice, right?
And golly, we need calcium for those strong bones that Wonder Bread is also helping us build. But if you say something is 100% juice, shouldn’t it be 100% juice? And why do I have to hire an attorney to interpret the label? Why do I have to read the fine print to find that this is not the Ruby Red Grapefruit juice I thought I was buying? And if I want calcium I’ll drink milk.
Here’s the thing. Is this deception really necessary to sell juice? It is because OceanSpray finds it easier to deceive their customers than to creatively explain why they are adding apple juice. All those MBAs are too stupid to make the truth sound appealing. Creativity is dead along with math and ethics at OceanSpray.
I won’t trust OceanSpray the next time I buy juice. But if they had called this a delightful blend of ruby red grapefruit and other juices, I wouldn’t mind. And if they wanted to tell me they added some other nutrients, fine. But please leave off the 100%. And don’t put Ruby Red Grapefruit beneath the 100% clearly implying that I’m getting 100% grapefruit juice. It’s not necessary to trick me into buying your product unless there is something wrong with it. As I said, it’s a pretty good juice.
But they lied to me. Now I don’t trust them. Maybe there are other things in the bottle they’d rather not admit to. How would I know? OceanSpray lies. Maybe the fruit they buy is covered with pesticides. I don’t think they would tell me, do you? After all, they practice deception.
Don’t lie to your customers, okay? It’s not worth breaking the trust bond to make a few more sales. Eventually this type of deception backfires and customers are lost forever.
Google “Breyers” and you’ll see what I mean. Their 100% natural ice cream now contains some gummy crap so they can fluff up the volume with air under the guise of making it better for shipping. It’s better for shipping alright. That scum they add means the junk won’t melt. It tastes awful too. And adding that gum made a lot of loyal customers mad. I quit buying it. Why should I pay $6 for a half gallon of typical grocery store ice cream? Broken trust. It’s just not natural.
Take a look at the nice little lemon and lime wedges on a 7-up can. Then read the ingredients. No juice. They add “natural flavoring” but no juice. Isn’t the can clearly trying to relay the message that 7-up has lemon and lime juice in it?
Don’t lie to your customers and you’ll do better than those who do. Easy stuff.
Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog