The Corn Refiners Association is launching a major advertising and public relations campaign designed to rehabilitate the reputation of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS has been linked by many scientists to the nation’s obesity epidemic.
The group is spending $20 million to $30 million on the campaign, including running full-page ads in more than a dozen major newspapers, claiming that the product is no worse for you than sugar. The ad, which features a stalk of corn, carries the headline: ‘And Now a Little Food for Thought.’
The Corn Refiners Association “has been trying to counter the bad publicity around HFCS since 2004,” but concluded it “could no longer afford to rely on simple grass-roots marketing tactics such as talking with nutritionists and doctors.”
Meanwhile, in June a nearly $5 billion merger of Corn Products International and Bunge Ltd. signaled that corn manufacturers mean business. Revenues were expected to increase 29 percent in 2008 to reach $4 billion.