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MiO is just artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Nice.

For those who want chemicals in their water.

I’m sure you’ve seen the commercial for MiO, the so-called “water enhancer.” The visually stunning spot starts with the camera focused on a clear glass of water. Suddenly, someone squeezes a few drops of MiO into it. The camera stays on the glass as the dyes and chemicals disperse in the water. The first time I saw it it reminded me of a junior high chemistry class — the one when you learn about concentrates.

My husband saw it for the first time last night. I was in the kitchen cleaning up. “Get in here,” he yelled, incredulous. “You’ve got to see this! It’s flavored food coloring for water!”

He’s right, of course. Today I went to the product’s Facebook page, and checked out the ingredients. Here’s what Kraft Foods Global, the manufacturer, has to say about it:

“MiO is sweetened with Sucralose, a calorie-free, artificial sweetener that is 600 times sweeter than sugar. Generally, non-nutritive sweeteners are calorie free in finished products because they impart high sweetness intensity and are needed only in very small amounts to give desired sweetness to a product. Artificial sweeteners provide sweetness without adding calories to help individuals watching their calorie and sugar intake. To maintain color and freshness, MiO does use certain preservatives and artificial colorings.”

Some, hu? The water additive contains Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40, Blue 1, Malic Acid, and Propylene Glycol. You all know how I feel about artificial colors and sweeteners. I’m not the only one who has problems with the ingredients, either. The folks on the product’s Facebook page have been complaining for a while not only about the artificial colors, but about the use of sucralose and acesulfame potassium — both artificial sweeteners.

One poster wrote:

“Ugh. I was kind of excited about this product until I saw all of the artificial coloring and use of sucralose.*sigh* maybe someday someone will get it right.”

Someone else wrote:

“I see a TON of comments the same as mine about using Stevia, etc. I don’t understand why companies still insist on using these “sugars” when people are becoming more conscious of what they are ingesting! The only reason to do it is for cost…. most of the market still buys soda for $1 a liter over some good ol green tea for much more than that. :0/ So, money is all it’s about I assume.”

Based on this feedback, and the fact that more and more people are waking up to the potential health problems these drinks contribute to, I’m thinking that MiO is going to do as well as New Coke. I predict it will be off the market by the end of the year. In the meantime: Kraft, what is WRONG with your R&D folks? As the many, many comments on your Facebook page confirm, you’d probably have a hit on your hands if you used natural plant-based coloring, natural sweeteners, and natural flavors. People are actually willing to spend money on stuff that tastes good and isn’t bad for them. I know I am.

But that brings me to another question: Why is Kraft pushing the idea that water is boring and needs enhancement? Me, I add a little splash of real fruit juice, or a squeeze of lemon, oranges, or another citrus fruit to my water if I’m in the mood for a little kick. I’m still saving a few bucks, and I get a little vitamin C in the process as well. How about you? What do you think of MiO and the other water additives out there?

This post is how I am participating this week in Real Food Wednesdays and Fight Back Fridays — two awesome campaigns to get people eating real food again.

10 Responses to “MiO: Another Word for Chemicals”

  1. Coyote Vick says:

    My husband and I saw that on tv last night! I remember thinking “oh boy, I wonder how many chemicals are in that!” and so I went to the facebook page, and sure enough, it’s NOT food. It heartens me to see people standing up and saying “NO! That is not healthy, that is not acceptable, and that is NOT food!” but how many others will simply go “oh, a way I can drink water without tasting water and lose weight!” Plenty of people still drink Crystal Light. 🙁

  2. Jen says:

    I just went to their facebook page and it was like looking at a horror movie because all I read is how they love it and got their free samples! especially the lady who thought it was an “icy treat” after her workout


  3. Alexandra says:

    We should all learn to avoid toxic chemicals, especially where kids are concerned, not try to add them to flavor water. I add organic blackberry syrup to water on occasion, but after living in the city over the winter, realize how sweet ordinary water is on Cape Cod. If only we can stop the utility company from contaminating it by spraying up to 5 herbicides under the power lines!!!

  4. Thank you for this post. To me, this MIO product is ridiculous, and I hope it won’t catch on with consumers. Here’s why: http://newhope360.com/colors/oh-kraft-again-artificial-colors-count-me-out-customer

  5. Edible Haven says:

    IMO MIO is ridiculous! Ha! Really, what is wrong with just drinking water with a squeeze of lemon? People are so silly and lazy.

  6. Milton says:

    Herbally sweetened soft drinks are extremely useful for breaking bad habits. They help people to drink more fluids and eat less sugar. I think MIO sounds nasty, but I love the concentrate concept, if for no other reason than to stem the tide of single-use polyester bottles. Maybe Glacéau will step up and create a Vitamin Water Zero concentrate. In the mean time I’m working on my own version. It’s so easy to get stevia, xylitol, and natural flavorings these days. 😉

  7. Jenny says:

    I tried out Mio, because I was genuinely curious of it. I now have a sore throat. I’m not sure if it’s FROM the Mio, per say, but it could very well be a working factor. Mio is pointless, it doesn’t taste good, and it’s like putting a mixture of man-made chemicals in an easy-to-carry bottle of death. Congratulations, Kraft, on the “au naturel water enhancer”.

  8. Stric says:

    I just bought and tried it, and I like it. Its certainly seems better than diet/zero soda drinks. I’ve struggled for years with an addiction to soda. I see this as a way to help get over that habit. I agree its probably not much better but it helps a transition.

    Not everyone is a “cold turkey” kinda person. I love water, but when hit the fridge I get soda. I don’t know why, probably some addictive mental thing for it. The good thing about Mio is that I can decide how much I want.

    While I understand everyone is “healthy” in the comments, I’ll stick with Mio to help me get to that point. So far, I’ve lost 50 lbs with reducing my soda habits, changing the types of food I eat, and exercise over the course of a year. 10 more pounds with a goal of water/tea only in my life style is my end of year plan.

    I did the same thing to stop smoking cigs. Using those e-cigs to do it. I’m still using them, but I havent had a real cig in a long time. I can run 3 miles now, and feel great. I’ve been lowering that nicotine level in them to get down. It all comes down to moderation, patience, and dedication to a goal.

    While these products are not as healthy, they certainly are healthier and server a purpose to help people transition to a new lifestyle. I may be negative feedback to this post, but I truly believe I speak for a large group of people that want to change but need a helpful transition.

  9. Adam says:

    I really stay conscious of what I ingest and today i was visiting a friend and he offered me a drink of MIO, I thought I was drinking some of the dankest KoolAid in the world lol. I thought it was wild how much flavor they could add to water with such a little amount of liquid. Definitely some strong chemicals. I’m still pretty opposed to it just bc of all the coloring really, and it’s sucralose, but my friend is a big soda drinker and he said the stuff changed his life because now he drinks almost a gallon of water a day with just a few squirts of MIO. That was pretty cool. I know people aren’t as conscious as they should be, but hey man we gotta have compassion for our vices to some extent and I saw the change in my friend. Still not convinced fully for myself yet! Love, Adam

  10. David says:

    What junk. I was looking for a hint of citrus like some of the finer seltzer waters… just a touch of orange, or lemon, or lime. Instead, MiO is some sickening sweet combination of chemicals turning water into Love Canal. The people in Kraft live in the dark ages.

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