McDonald’s new Fruit and Maple Oatmeal has landed the company in a syrupy spot with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. The company alleges that the oatmeal doesn’t actually contain maple, and they’ve requested that McDonald’s change the recipe or change the name. Labeling a food as containing maple when it actually doesn’t is in violation of Vermont’s well known “Maple” law.
“What we understand, is there is no actual maple in the [McDonald’s] product being advertised. Vermont maple law and regulations are very specific for how the term maple is used in advertisements,” Kelly Loftus, VAA spokesperson told Slashfood. “It is illegal to use the word maple on a product unless the sweetener is 100 percent pure maple. Artificial maple flavoring should be clearly and conspicuously labeled on the principal panel with the term ‘artificial flavor’.”
The ingredient list for the McDonald’s Fruit and Maple Oatmeal is much longer than the name suggests. Each 9.2 ounce cup contains whole grain rolled oats, brown sugar, food starch-modified, salt, natural maple flavor with other natural flavor (plant source), barley malt extract, and caramel color. It comes with diced apples, cream and a cranberry/raisin blend. It has 290 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.