Guacamole dips from Kraft, others have precious little avocado

WASHINGTON—Guacamole dips from Kraft and some other companies have almost none of what most people assume is guacamole’s main ingredient—avocado, according to the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).

Guacamole dip from Kraft is mostly water, partially hydrogenated coconut and soybean oil, corn syrup, whey protein concentrate, modified food starch, potato, and salt, CSPI found, with less than 2 percent avocado. Herr’s is mostly skim milk, corn oil, modified food starch, tomato paste, and salt. In fact, Herr’s ingredients label lists no avocado at all, only “avocado powder,” and even that ingredient is outweighed by yellow #5, blue #1, and several other artificial ingredients.

“Guacamole is made with avocados,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “By passing off these cheap pastes as guacamole, Kraft and others are practically begging to be sued. Foods like these highlight the need for a law that would require labels to disclose the percentages of key ingredients.”

Other brands of guacamole with minuscule amounts of avocado include Dean’s, Marie’s, and T. Marzetti’s. Herr’s, Marie’s, and T. Marzetti’s compound the deception by sporting pictures of avocados on their labels, according to CSPI. CSPI recommends that consumers buy guacamole dips that list avocado as the first ingredient. Examples of those include AvoClassic, Trader Joe’s, or Yucatan.

CSPI reviews guacamole and other dips and spreads, like salsa, bean dip, and hummus in the May issue of its award-winning Nutrition Action Healthletter. The May issue also provides recipes for making guacamole and other dips from scratch—with no modified food starch, corn syrup, or hydrogenated anything.