New York, NY – July 24, 2023 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that Olé Mexican Foods, Inc. provided a reasonable basis for total carbohydrate amounts, some net carbohydrate amounts, and carb effective calculations advertised on its product packaging and website for its La Banderita and Xtreme Wellness tortillas.
However, NAD recommended that Olé discontinue:
- Any claims that its products have “0 net carbs per serving,” are “keto net zero” and any effective carb count calculations that indicate 0 net carbohydrates per serving for any products that have more than .5 grams of net carbs; and
- The “Carb Lean” claim found on the product labeling and website for the La Banderita Carb Counter product and certain Xtreme Wellness products.
The claims at issue were challenged by Gruma Corporation. Both Gruma and Olé manufacture and sell “low” or “no” net carbohydrate products.
Total Carbohydrate Claims
NAD noted that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes the variability in natural ingredients in the packaged food industry that leads to variations in nutritional content and makes allowances for the discrepancies that may result. Therefore, the FDA allows for a 20% variance from the amount of total carbohydrates declared on the label.
NAD determined that while the testing provided by Olé shows that the total carbohydrate amount differs from that advertised on the product packaging, these differences fall within the range FDA deems reasonable.
Accordingly, NAD found that the total carbohydrate amounts advertised on the product packaging and website for La Banderita and Xtreme Wellness tortillas are supported because they are within the variation allowed within the industry.
Net Carbohydrate Claims
Gruma also challenged Olé’s net carbohydrate claims including the express “net carbs per serving” declaration on the front and back of each tortilla’s packaging and the “effective carb count per tortilla” calculation on the back of each product’s packaging.
Considering the variation in nutritional makeup inherent in ingredients and the fact that the FDA and packaged food industry accept and acknowledge these variations, NAD found that Olé provided a reasonable basis for its net carbohydrate declarations and carb effective calculations on certain La Banderita and Xtreme Wellness tortilla packaging.
Regarding the claims on Olé’s La Banderita Carb Counter Street Taco tortilla packaging that it has “0 net carbs per serving” and is “keto net zero,” NAD determined that consumers would reasonably expect that “0 net carb” claims mean that the product has less than .5 grams of net carbs. Therefore, NAD recommended that Olé discontinue any claims that its products have “0 net carbs per serving,” are “keto net zero,” and any effective carb count calculations that indicate 0 net carbohydrates per serving for any products that have more than .5 grams of net carbs.
Carb Lean Claim
NAD concluded that the term “Carb Lean” in the context of tortilla packaging reasonably conveys the message that the product is either low in total carbohydrates or low in net carbohydrates. In the absence of any explanation about how the carbohydrate numbers in Olé’s testing substantiate these claims, NAD recommended Olé discontinue the “Carb Lean” claim on certain product packaging and on the website.
In its advertiser statement, Olé stated that it will “discontinue use of ‘carb lean’ claims” despite its disagreement with NAD’s conclusion, and that it will “comply with NAD’s recommendation concerning making ‘zero net carb’ claims where it possesses substantiation consistent with FDA’s rounding rules.”
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About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.