Food Frauds: Special K Fruit & Yogurt And DanActive "Immunity" Drink

Food marketing is largely made up of lies, but everyone already knows that. The CSPI, however, likes to find foods that are especially fraudulent in their marketing claims. These made us laugh for some reason, so we thought we’d share them with you.

Here are our two of our favorites:

Kellogg’s Special K Fruit & Yogurt
The company touts that the “cereal combines the crunch of whole grain goodness, the smooth creaminess of yogurt and the sweet taste of berries….” Yet there is more refined rice than whole grain wheat, no berries (just dyed apple pieces), and no yogurt (just yogurt powder that is usually heat treated, killing any beneficial bacteria) in the cereal.

DanActive “Immunity” Dairy Drink

This Dannon product claims to help “strengthen your body’s defenses.” But the only study Dannon did to see if drinking DanActive kept people from getting sick found that it didn’t!

Oh Kellogg, “sweet taste of berries,” but no berries?

Didn’t George Carlin once say: “What does ‘real lemon flavor mean?’ No fucking lemons!” George Carlin is always correct.

Food Frauds


Edit Your Comment

  1. JKinNYC says:

    Don’t for get “Cheese food.” No cheese in there. Who was the comedian who asked “Is that what we feed to cheese?”

  2. snazz says:

    thats like kraft’s claims that their macaroni products contain ‘real kraft cheese’ and not ‘real cheese’ …. i love it!

  3. DrGirlfriend says:

    So dyed apple has the sweet taste of berries?

  4. JKinNYC says:

    @DrGirlfriend: Check every fruit flavored item you ever purchase. Apple is everywhere. Apple and artificial flavors

  5. IphtashuFitz says:

    As a child I remember my mom showing me a wrapper from a cherry pie. It was a style like the Hostess individual pies but I don’t think it was from Hostess themselves. In any event, the cherry pie also contained apple with cherry flavoring and red food coloring. Not a single cherry to be found in the pie.

  6. protest says:

    whoever buys cereal with dried fruit in it instead of, oh i don’t know, buying fresh berries or high quality dried fruit deserves the bait and switch. i never understood those cereals and i never will.

    note kellogg didn’t actually lie, it’s called fruit and yogurt, not berries and yogurt. berry “taste” doesn’t have to come from berries anymore, they can make it a lab. i’m sure it says natural and artifical flavors on that box somewhere.

  7. babaki says:

    that special K is one of my favorite cereals. it tastes good, so i buy it.

  8. bohemian says:

    I just love the made up beneficial bacteria names they came up with for “Danactive” and “Activia”. Both are just slightly tweaked strains of the exact same bacteria in most yogurt, nothing special or different. The scientific sounding names made me laugh when I first saw the commercials.

  9. shan6 says:

    @protest: I dont think anybody “deserves” the bait and switch. But i do agree, just buy them separately and add your own berries, fresh, and better tasting.

  10. sodypop says:

    If you are looking for beneficial bacteria, look for “Kefir”. It is sitting right there in the dairy isle. Kefir has been around for years, it is really good for you. Actually you can make your own if you get some grains from someone,all you need to do is leave the Kefir grains with milk and a couple of hours you have creamy Kefir.

  11. vaxman says:

    @JKinNYC: pear is another one

  12. @sodypop: Kefir is great. My local Stop ‘n’ Shop sells it in their organic aisle. I usually drink one every two or three days.

  13. Red_Eye says:

    @DrGirlfriend: Once artificial flavorings are added LOL.

    @bohemian: You must be referring to;

    Bifidus Digestivum, Bifidus Regularis and Bifidobacterium Lactis

    A good bit of information on this crud is here []

    I love Yogurt, I prefer natural yogurt when I can get it. I’m not saying all the pro-biotic stuff is bunk after all Acidophilus gets purchased in my house every time antibiotics are used for an infection, seems to help cut back on diarrhea and yeast infections that are a side effect of how toxic our modern day antibiotcs are.

  14. kahri says:

    I recently bought a bottle of “Capri Sun Island Refreshers-Orange DragonFruit” which was good BTW, the ingredients however are Apple & Pear juices w/ the token artificials. But that’s not the kicker: All “Capri Sun Island Refreshers” have the same ingredients regardless of the “flavor”. None of which is apple or pear.

  15. pete says:

    Gawd, next thing you’re gonna tell me is that there are no actual cookies is Cookie Crisp!

  16. rtwigg says:

    Speaking of Kellog… how many people realize that “Kashi” is a Kellog product?

  17. MENDOZA!!!!! says:

    @JKinNYC: is apple the new corn?

  18. xamarshahx says:

    almost all products have a bigger corporation behind them. if not, they eventually get bought out like vitamin water.

  19. rdm24 says:

    I love apples. I’ll stand by them! But not when they are pretending to be something else.

  20. rdm24 says:


    Diarrhea is NOT a side-effect of the antibiotics. It’s a side-effect of wiping out the organisms in your digestive tract, allowing resistant straings to grow unchecked. Taking probiotics (or yogurt) isn’t a bad idea to deal with antibiotics (esp, yogurt–I suspect those pills don’t work as advertised).

    It may sound like a trivial distinction, but it’s not.

  21. klobbermeister says:


    They aren’t saying there actually *is* whole grain (or even whole grain goodness) in the cereal…just the crunch of it. The same goes for yogurt…they only claim it’s got the same “smooth creaminess”. And the berries? Yep…why include real berries if you can get the “sweet taste” some other way.

    Really, just read the description…none of it’s lies…really…much…

  22. UpsetPanda says:

    What did anyone expect? Curbing a good diet by the ‘combination healthiness’ method just. doesn’t. work. Want some cereal? Eat the really healthy stuff, like Kashi’s whole grain cereal.

    It tastes like cardboard? Put in slices of fruit, and not the dried crap that comes in Special K. There’s no nutrition in that, and it tastes weird.

    “but there’s no sugar!” you say? If you want artificial sugar, wolf down some honeycombs or frosted flakes. The fruit has natural sugar that should be just fine. I hate Raisin Bran, mostly because I think it’s boring and tastes bad, plus it probably just isn’t very healthy. but I find that I like Kashi’s whole grain cereal more when I add my own raisins.

  23. magus_melchior says:

    @Cassifras: No, but apple juice concentrate is the new high fructose corn syrup. At least, in “100% fruit juice” drinks.

  24. GoBobbyGo says:

    I like on #2 how they note that a one-ounce serving has more sugar than any of the four grains. Why did CSPI put the serving size in there? Does a two-ounce serving or four-ounce serving have a different proportion?

  25. superbureaucrat says:

    That reminds me of the time I got a cajun ramen and on the picture it is shown with large actual shrimp. What I actually got was something closer to sea monkeys that had been dead for the last five years.

  26. @rdm24: One reason why the pills are fairly popular is that a lot of people take antibiotics for sinus infections … and dairy stimulates mucus production, so avoiding dairy while sinus-infected is generally a good idea.

    Me, I just eat the yogurt and have a sudafed chaser. :)

  27. mimikins says:

    Is this like rot-gut, well tequila actually being tequila flavored vodka?

  28. Snakeophelia says:

    Too bad I didn’t know this BEFORE I tried and became addicted to the vanilla-flavored Danactive (and no, I don’t want to know if it’s got actual vanilla in it). I do just drink it as a treat, though, to hold me over until I can make the hike to Trader Joe’s to get my Fage yogurt.

  29. JKinNYC says:

    @Cassifras: Apple is the OLD corn.

  30. HungryGrrl says:

    I did the Activia thing for a while and wasn’t impressed and went back to the 2 qt Plain Lowfat Dannon…. but then last week I was struck with a weird craving for the Activia vanilla and bought a four pack. It’s not even good yogurt… it gets really runny at room tempurture (I bring it to work as a snack).

    The person who said “apples are the new HFCS” is crazy. But I do agree that putting apple-sugar in something doesn’t make it healthy. Skip the apple-sweetened juice and cereal and fruit snacks and eat a real apple. Sweet and good for your teeth and full of soluble fiber. Apples are our friends, unlike corn! And apples are worth buying organic unless you want to wash and peel every one you eat.

  31. Red_Eye says:

    @rdm24: Right and the wipe out of the intestinal flora is a direct side result of the antibiotics.. Unless you take antibiotics with the intention of wiping out your intestinal flora.