–Dan Kelly, Attorney

I read this week that the Corn Refiners Association is making a move to rename high fructose corn syrup to “corn sugar.”  Interesting and informative article at the NYT.  (H/T Elliot’s Blog.)

The CRA’s presser, here, is a carefully crafted piece, as it should be.  Everything in it, from its subtitle (“Eliminating Consumer Confusion is the Goal“) to its use of the terms “high fructose corn syrup” and “corn sugar” is well calculated.  But the punch line is captured in a quote attributed to registered dietitian Carolyn O’Neil in speaking about America’s “obesity epidemic”:  “The last thing we want is for Americans to think that avoiding high fructose corn syrup is the answer.”  Well, that often is the point of rebranding, now, isn’t it?  This name change has everything to do with changing consumer perception, not eliminating confusion.  Even the most well-executed name changes often create, rather than eliminate, consumer confusion.

The campaign features information at SweetSurprise.com, a series of commercials, and a full-service website at CornSugar.com.  About the only thing that the CRA has not done is acquire HighFructoseCornSyrup.com, which currently forwards here.