Ad touts benefits of coconut oil

A u.s. health food manufacturer has taken action to battle the strong consumer perception that coconut and coconut oils are unhealthy.Arnold Badner, president of Red Mill Farms, which produces Jennies Macaroons for health food stores in Canada and the u.s., took...

A u.s. health food manufacturer has taken action to battle the strong consumer perception that coconut and coconut oils are unhealthy.

Arnold Badner, president of Red Mill Farms, which produces Jennies Macaroons for health food stores in Canada and the u.s., took out a full-page ad this month in the trade magazine, Health Food Business.

Fight back publicly

He says the initiative is the first he knows of by a stakeholder in the coconut industry to fight back publicly against negative publicity that has harmed sales.

The ad highlights the beneficial properties of coconut oil’s predominant medium-chain triglycerides, which have a lower caloric content than the long-chain fatty acids predominant in vegetable oils.

It also extols the virtues of lauric acid, which is abundant in coconut, and, according to the scientific studies cited, has anti-microbial properties.

Badner says he got tired of waiting for the rest of the industry to respond to the bad press coconut oil has got because of its saturated fat content.

He says that far from being a health danger, coconut-based foods actually have some significant health promoting properties including anti-viral components.

Badner claims the soybean industry started smearing tropical oils about six years ago.

‘They came out and said saturated fats were not good for you and the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] followed suit, condemning saturated fats – but that was only half the story,’ Badner says.

‘The coconut industry did nothing to counteract this,’ he says.

Coconut oil ran into trouble again when its use in movie theatre popcorn poppers was called into question.

Last June, Cineplex Odeon and Famous Players switched to vegetable oil.

The ad in Health Food Business also encourages retailers to reproduce the ad and distribute it to customers.

Red Mill Farms distributes to about 140 health food stores in Canada and about 6,000 in the u.s.