Pacific Natural Foods Soups – Why All the Sugar?

When I visited Whole Foods Grocery last week, I was planning to purchase a carton or two of soups from Pacific Natural Foods. They were on sale for $2.79 and Whole Foods was offering a $1 coupon.

pacific natural foods creamy tomato has lots of added sugar

Personally, I like Pacific Natural Foods as a company. They are independently owned, unlike Imagine Foods, which is owned by Hain. I try to choose chicken broth from Pacific, but I have purchased Imagine brand when it’s a better bargain.

So, I thought this will be a great opportunity to try another soup flavor, and I thought the creamy tomato would be a good choice. When I saw the stack at the Whole Foods store, I casually glanced at the list of ingredients and was shocked to see evaporated cane juice was added, making the total sugar 12 grams.

List of Ingredients:
Organic Reduced fat milk
Filtered water
Organic tomato paste
Organic evaporated cane juice
Sodium citrate
Sea salt
Organic rice flour
Organic cheese flavor
Organic garlic powder
Organic onion powder
Organic white pepper

I initially thought it was only that particular soup, but nope, I checked every single blend, and they ALL had evaporated cane juice.


Aren’t tomatoes and/or butternut squash sweet enough without adding more sugar to their recipe? Even the French Onion had added sugar!

Are we THAT addicted to sugar, that we can’t even get away from it in our natural soups? Do we really need extra sugar and salt to make our food taste better? sigh. :(

The worst part is that a lot of healthy eaters probably trust Pacific to produce a quality healthy product, and probably don’t even bother to check the list of ingredients. I know I don’t always check, but I’m glad I did this time!

Needless to say, I was very disappointed and did not buy any Pacific Natural soups. Bummer.

10 thoughts on “Pacific Natural Foods Soups – Why All the Sugar?”

  1. I stopped buying pre-made soups some time back – between sugar and salt, they get you both ways!

    I heard recently that the average American eats 150 lbs of sugar each year! That is crazy, but I totally believe it. I have received feedback on some of my recipes that people had to add sugar — I think that pretty much says it – we are a society addicted to sugar.

    Good for you for passing it up. That is the best message to send PNF…

  2. Not defending them — I wouldn’t eat it either, with 12g sugar — and there are VERY few packaged soups I will buy for my kids, but I’m going to say that if you’re talking about tomato soups, they add sugar to cut down some of the acidity. I am a complete sugar-phobe, but, I follow all my Italian ancestors in that I add a generous pinch of sugar to my homemade gravy (you probably call it sauce but …LOL); otherwise it is much too acidic. The “organic cheese flavor” on the ingredient list is concerning…what exactly does that mean? In any case, the cane juice is way too high on the ingredients list and to answer your question, yes: the general public IS that addicted to sugar and expects an artificially sweet taste from pretty much everything. Gross!

  3. Thanks ladies.

    @Angela, You know, I should have known better. I don’t generally buy pre-made soup anymore, either, and I should have stuck to it. I guess it’s just one more wake up call! Thank you.

    @Angela, yes, I remember my mom putting a tsp or so of sugar into her sauce, and I used to do it too. Don’t anymore, but yes, it did make it taste good, haha. I guess it’s good we grew out of that bad habit, I don’t even miss it. I love how tomatoes taste, acidy or not!!!

  4. Hey, thought of you today; I was in the Wild Harvest section at Shaw’s and this container of Pacific Foods soup caught my eye: Thai Sweet Potato. As my kids love soup, love all things Thai and love sweet potatoes, I gave it a looking over. Ingredients are filtered water, sweet potatoes, winter squash, carrots, onions, creamed coconut, almond butter, rice flour, corn starch, sea salt, apple cider vinegar, garlic, lemongrass, onion power, garlic powder, chili pepper, ginger lime oil and the dreaded “natural flavor,” but all in all, NO added sugar of any kid…3g sugar per 1 cup serving…it’s VERY tasty, quite spicy and flavorful with chunks of vegs in it and it meets my criteria for using real ingredients (except for the mystery flavor at the end!)…just throwing it out there if you want a prepared soup to have on hand for quick lunch or whatever…I’d buy it again!

  5. Wow Norma. I don’t think saw that flavor because I thought I looked at them all. It sounds yummy. Love a lil spice!

    Those ingredients actually look to be the makings of a delicious recipe too. I love the addition of almond butter and creamed coconut!

    Thank you so much. I’m going to look for this flavor!

  6. Gah thanks for sharing this! I love their low sodium veg broth and haven’t bought their soups in a while. I think I’m going to write to them and complain. It can’t hurt, right?

  7. And darn it. I’m glad you mentioned the bookmarked links Kait, the RSS is messed up. One list is supposed to be foodblogs and it’s pulling ALL my links not just my food blogs.

    I’m going to check that out!

  8. Too much Salt too and too much sugar. I don’t add sugar or salt to most of my food so if I have it in Pasific ButterNut Squach I’m doing good. In happy about this product the rest of all you that can’t have Salt or sugar.,….. too bad DON’T EAT IT.

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