National Advertising Division Finds RxSugar® Does Not Suggest Prescription Grade; Recommends Nutrishus Brands Discontinue or Modify Certain Other Claims
New York, NY – November 15, 2023 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs concluded that the brand name “RxSugar®” does not suggest that the product is prescription grade, however, NAD recommended that Nutrishus Brands, Inc. modify or discontinue certain RxSugar® claims:
- Qualifying the RxSugar® name to avoid conveying the message that RxSugar is or contains sugar;
- Modifying the phrase “plant-based certified sugar” to make clear that the certification pertains to the plant-based attribute of RxSugar® products; and
- Discontinuing the claim that RxSugar® is “real sugar . . . just like your traditional sugar, except for one piece. It is missing one particular molecule, so the body doesn’t recognize it as sugar” or modifying it to accurately illustrate the chemical differences between RxSugar® and sugar.
The claims at issue were challenged by the Sugar Association, Inc., a trade group that represents the interests of the sugar industry and supports scientific research and consumer education about the role of sugar in human health.
Nutrishus’ RxSugar® brand is made from allulose, a “rare” sugar that is chemically distinct from sucrose (table sugar) and differs from sucrose in a number of ways, including how it is metabolized in the human body.
NAD concluded that the use of “Rx” did not convey the express message that RxSugar® products were prescription or prescription grade products, nor the alleged implied message that RxSugar® products were healthier than regular sugar.
However, NAD determined that the name RxSugar® expressly conveys the misleading message that RxSugar® products contain sugar (sucrose) and that the labeling elements, including the statement of identity, did not make it clear that the product is allulose sugar – an alternative to sugar as consumers commonly understand the term. Therefore, NAD recommended that the RxSugar® name be modified, including qualifying the name to avoid conveying the message that RxSugar® is or contains sugar.
NAD concluded that the phrase “plant-based certified sugar,” as it was presented in Nutrishus’ QVC commercial, was misleading because it was not clear what the phrase means or what exactly is being certified. Therefore, NAD recommended that the claim be modified to make clear that the certification pertains to the plant-based attribute of RxSugar® products.
Just Like Your Traditional Sugar
NAD determined that the statement that allulose is “just like your traditional sugar except for one piece…” oversimplifies the chemistry at issue and conveys a misleading message about the differences between allulose and sugar as consumers commonly understand the term. NAD therefore recommended that Nutrishus discontinue the claim that RxSugar® is “. . . just like your traditional sugar, except for one piece. It is missing one particular molecule so the body doesn’t recognize it as sugar” or modify it to accurately illustrate the chemical differences between RxSugar® and sugar.
In its advertiser statement, Nutrishus stated it “will comply with NAD’s decision” and that it is “pleased to include additional information on its label and in its advertising so that there can be no mistake that RxSugar® is not what is commonly known as ‘sugar’ (sucrose).” Nutrishus further stated that it “supports any direction that further highlights the products’ distinction” from sugar.
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