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Food packaging: Honey-flavored syrup labeling may be deceiving

Everyone knows what's in the honey bear bottle -- or so we thought. One of America's most timeless kitchen staples, honey, is fading from the marketplace, and an entire industry is in danger. Honey-flavored syrups are moving onto grocery shelves and consumers may not be able to distinguish between 100% pure honey and similarly-packaged honey-syrup blends.

According to a new online survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the National Honey Board from May 13-17th, 2010, of those who purchase honey:

  --  65% said they would feel deceived if they found out the honey they
      purchased was actually honey-flavored syrup and 25% said they would be
      outraged

  --  79% said they would not use it if they found out the honey they
      purchased had added syrups

  --  77% said they wouldn't purchase honey-flavored syrup even if it cost
      half as much as pure honey


"Many people don't realize honey is just one simple ingredient: honey," said Bruce Wolk of the National Honey Board. "Consumers need to be aware they may not be giving something 100% pure to their family if they don't take a moment to double-check the label. Many of the honey-syrup blends are packaged very similarly to pure honey."

That is why the National Honey Board has just launched its consumer awareness campaign, Save the Endangered Honey Bear.

"Your local grocer is still a great place to buy 100% pure honey," said Wolk. "Consumers just need to pay attention to the label to make sure they're getting 100% pure honey, the way nature intended."

Consumers can get involved by checking the label to make sure the only ingredient listed is honey. They can also buy and use only 100% pure honey in more recipes or ask their grocer or favorite restaurant to carry only 100% pure honey. To learn more about the endangered honey bear, consumers are encouraged to visit SaveTheHoneyBear.com.

SOURCE: National Honey Board

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