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Sugar in the Raw

October 1, 2012

So I’ve decided that my first, true post will be in regards to Sugar in the Raw.

Sugar in the Raw is a brand owned by Cumberland Packaging Corp, which is the same company that makes Sweet ‘n Low.  I can’t find an actual date when the product was introduced, but it’s been a while, according to the USPTO web site, Cumberland has owned the brand name since 1997.  I’m sure you’ve been to any hipster restaurant or cafe and found packages of Sugar in the Raw on the tables.

I watch a lot of TV (because I’m a pop culture nut rather than doing it for work) and today I saw an ad for Sugar in the Raw.  Here is the ad for your viewing pleasure:



Where do I start?  I don’t have a problem with the creative itself, meaning the look and feel of the ad.  I have a problem with the message.  The ad claims that Sugar in the Raw and Stevia in the Raw give you a reason to celebrate.  How does it do that?  What are you celebrating?  There’s a wink/nod at the end when the husband spanks his wife, but that could mean anything.   To me there’s not much of a message there.

What is the reason for me to buy this sugar brand versus another one?  Versus Sweet ‘N Low?  I didn’t hear or see any reason.  This is a waste of good marketing dollars that could have gone to some promotion or sample program.  It seems like some marketer had some extra money in his budget that he thought he would use before it got cut.

Also, you have to consider the pseudo-science involved in this type of product.  The difference between unprocessed sugar (Sugar in the Raw) and refined sugar is that refined sugar has had its molasses boiled away.  Other than the physical appearance there is no nutritional or functional difference between the two sugars.  To claim that unprocessed sugar is better than refined sugar is all woo.  It is a flat-out lie.

I’m all for free market capitalism, but we have puffery laws and Cumberland should be advised to abide them.  I feel sorry for the consumers who spend their hard-earned dollars buying this product based on this lie.  Hopefully, they will wake up to the truth and move on to more honest brands.

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