WhoNu Cookies Early Clean Label

Originally Published: February 6, 2012
Last Updated: February 4, 2021

An ad in February, 2012 Sunday paper showed a nutrient-fortified “Oreo-looking” cookie. The Oreo brand generally takes an “indulgent” market position rather than a health positioning. Upon closer look, the WhoNu Cookies  range of cookies is being marketed by ©Suncore Products, LLC. (not the Nabisco Division of Kraft Foods). This product is an example of an early clean label product, with claims such as “0g Trans Fat, No Hydrogenated Oils, No High Fructose Corn Syrup.” It had not yet made efforts to purge itself of “non-natural” sounding components on its ingredient statement.

The question back then was that whether the product is a “good idea.” It had been criticized on a number of consumer sites. If one takes a “the glass is half empty” view, it is a bad idea since consumption of oatmeal, blueberries, spinach, cottage cheese and fruit is a better idea than trying to get comparable nutrients from a cookie. The glass half full view says it’s a good idea. Its nutrient profile should not be compared to whole foods presented in a meal, but to other cookies and desserts which it replaces.

Indeed, a separate FAQs section asks and answers:
Q: If I (my kids) eat these cookies, can I (they) stop eating fruits and vegetables?
A: Absolutely not, our cookies are intended to replace indulgent snacks that offer no nutritional value but in no way are they intended to replace healthy eating habits of which eating fruits and vegetables play an important part.

Claims Made:
In the newspaper ad: “As much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal, As much calcium and vitamin D as an 8 oz. glass of milk and As much vitamin C as a cup of blueberries*
Also 0g Trans Fat, No Hydrogenated Oils, No High Fructose Corn Syrup

Website also notes: As much iron as a cup of spinach, As much vitamin A as an 8 oz. glass of tomato juice, As much vitamin E as two cups of carrot juice and As much vitamin B12 as a cup of cottage cheese and fruit.

  • WhoNu?™ Cookies are an excellent source of Calcium, Iron, Vitamins A, B12, C, D and E. They also have 3 grams of fiber and a total of 20 essential vitamins and minerals.

Nutrition Facts Panel:
Of note: One serving (3 cookies) provides 12% USDA Daily Value for Dietary Fiber (or 3gms), 25% DV of vitamin C and of vitamin D, 20% DV of vitamin A, iron, vitamin E and B12 among other vitamins and minerals.

Sugar, Wheat Flour, Vegetable Oils (Canola, Palm, Palm Kernel Oil, Soybean Oil And Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed And Coconut Oil), Cocoa, Dextrose, Polydextrose, Yellow Corn Flour, Corn Syrup, Baking Soda, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Natural & Artificial Flavor, Monoglycerides, Vanilla Extract.
Vitamins & Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin C (Asorbic Acid), Iron Orthophosphate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Oxide, Manganese Gluconate, Iodine, Chromium Chloride, Vitamin E (Tocopherol Acetate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), Biotin, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), Vitamin D3, Vitamin K (Phytonadione), Vitamin B1 (Thiamine Mononitrate), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid.

  • Fiber is added primarily from polydextrose (cocoa can also contribute).
  • Sweetness is provided by sugar, dextrose and corn syrup.

Post by Claudia Dziuk O’Donnell, Co-owner Global Food Forums