Raisin Bosses Launch $1.5M War on Craisins

California growers furious at 'copycat' snack

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 2, 2012 1:18 PM CST

(Newser) – When Ocean Spray's Craisins first emerged in 1989, California's raisin growers were miffed: Raisins had been around, by some accounts, since Biblical times, and here was a new fruit snack trying to steal their thunder—not to mention borrow their name. Now the raisin growers have had enough, the Los Angeles Times reports. They're investing $5 per ton in a $1.5 million campaign to attack the dried cranberries, whose sales climbed 13.4% in 2010 compared to a year earlier; raisins saw sales drop 2.4%.

The campaign has launched a website called "Let's Keep It Real," which aims to reveal "the truth about Craisins." While Craisins are dried, split, and sugar-injected, raisins are simply dried grapes, the Times notes. "It's gone too far. They're not even real food. They're a dried cranberry skin that's at least 40% added sugar. We had to do something," says a raisin advocate. "Sure, they add a spot of color. But why not just put M&Ms on your salad?" Ocean Spray isn't backing down: It will conduct a raisin vs. Craisin taste test this month.

Cherry-flavored Craisins.   (Flickr)
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