5 Vague and Confusing Product Names

Example to clarify the term “product name”.

UFC Banana Ketchup, Datu Puti Soy Sauce, Nestle Ice Cream and Oreo Cookies.

Brand names are UFC, Datu Puti, Nestle and Oreo. Product names are banana ketchup, soy sauce, ice cream and cookies.

Some product names are vague, confusing or maybe a victim of mistaken identity. The first producer gave the wrong name, copycat manufacturers called it the same, then the whole community follows.

1) Lambanog. Previously known as the famous Philippine Coconut Wine. A fermented and distilled coconut sap. A 90 proof intoxicating beverage.

Wine process does not include distillation. The 90 proof is far beyond wine specification. Thanks to a prominent personality who called it coconut vodka and or distilled coconut spirit. It is now known as Coconut Vodka.

2) Potato flour, ube flour, camote flour etc… In attempt to combat non stop bread price increase, innovators are trying to come up with flour replacement.

To make things clearer, flour contains gluten, an essential component in formation of dough and rising of bread. Gluten can only be found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale. Starchy products without gluten should not be called flour.

A certain percentage can be added to flour but a 100 percent replacement is not possible.

3) Soy sauce. A salty dark brown condiment made by a two stage soybean fermentation. Aerobic fermentation by Aspergillus oryzae then a simultaneous anaerobic action of lactobacilli and yeast. The whole process may take several months to several years.

Some popular and affordable brands are produced using the quick process. Made by mixing hydrolyzed soybean protein, salt, sugar, colors and flavorings. Maybe they should think of a different name for this. A big and bold “ARTIFICIAL SOY SAUCE” is acceptable.

4) Juice Drink. Names “juice” and “juice drink” are entirely different. Juice is the the extracted sap, undiluted, unsweetened and not concentrated either. On the other hand juice drink is the diluted version, more than 70% water or just one percent juice. Base on common eyes and common taste buds, both terms are not different. Childrens and unconsious people don’t bother.

5) Shrimp cracker. Comes in two variation, ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook. None of the brands I have tried tasted like real shrimp. Why are they calling it a shrimp cracker if it never tasted like real?

I had an experiment, using pure rice powder to mimic a ready-to-cook shrimp cracker.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

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