For a long time in the US, processed foods have featured high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener rather than cane or beet sugar.  This is largely because of subsidies for domestically produced corn and tariffs on imported sugar.  There now seems to be a backlash developing against HFCS and in favor of “natural” sugar (HFCS is processed by converting the glucose in corn syrup into fructose.)  This Slate article takes a critical look at the case against HFCS and clarifies a few misconceptions.  For one, while fructose is probably worse for you than glucose, HCFS has no more fructose than, for example, table sugar. Also, there is mixed evidence whether there is any difference in taste.

In a street survey conducted by the Toronto Star, most passers-by preferred regular Coke to the Passover version; several folks described the latter as tasting like aspartame. A similar confusion beset the Snapple testers at Fast Company: One described the HFCS version as tasting “more natural” while another dismissed the all-natural version for its “chemical taste.

Here is the ad for Pepsi Throwback with “natural sugar.” What model of consumer behavior rationalizes introducing a limited-time product that raises questions about the main product line?

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