Sticky Success

“According to competitors, Splenda fans have been duped. The maker of Equal, which is Splenda’s closest sugar-substitute rival, has sued Splenda’s marketers on the grounds that the ”made from sugar” claim tricks consumers into thinking that Splenda is all natural. And now the Sugar Association has added its own sour note by way of a Web site,, with the kind of all-out assault on a rival that is almost never seen in consumer (as opposed to political) marketing. ”Splenda is not natural and does not taste like sugar,” the site charges. ”The sweetness of Splenda derives from a chlorocarbon chemical that contains three atoms of chlorine in every one of its molecules.” It goes on to say that Splenda consumers ”are actually eating chlorine,” suggests that the product is unsafe and has not been thoroughly tested and links to a statement from the Web site of the Whole Foods grocery-store chain, which refuses to stock anything made with sucralose. The Splenda camp has now sued the Sugar Association for making ”false and misleading claims.”

More interesting, perhaps, than the legal wrangling is the struggle for sweet virtue — Splenda as diet aid for the health-conscious or sugar as true product of Mother Earth. Should the clever consumer align with the trusted brand Whole Foods? Or the trusted brand Starbucks? Perhaps the confused sweet-seeker can find solace in the latest addition to the Splenda line: Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking. It is a mix of Splenda and actual sugar, and thus the best of both worlds — or, depending on how you look at it, the worst. ” (New York Times Magazine)