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I see this on many fruity soda cans, like Fanta, Sunkist, and Minute Maid, where it will read "Orange Soda - Naturally Flavored with Other Natural Flavors" enter image description here

If they're all natural flavors, isn't it just plain redundant to say "Natural Flavors, with other Natural Flavors?"

Or is there a special meaning to "naturally flavored with other natural flavors"?

Oddly, on other soda brands it omits the "with other natural flavors", for example, 7-up bottles say "100% natural flavors" also noting "Naturally Flavored Soda".

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    But if all the added flavors are natural flavors, and the soda itself is originally natural flavored, why isn't much less redundant to simply say "naturally flavored"?
    – yuritsuki
    Mar 6, 2015 at 20:22
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    Because lawyers. Mar 6, 2015 at 20:27
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    I'm guessing the orange flavor is a natural flavor, but there are other flavors mixed in too, so they have to specify that those are natural as well.
    – Nicole
    Mar 6, 2015 at 20:30
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    @DavidWashington If it implied artificial wouldn't it thereby say "Artifically flavored"?
    – yuritsuki
    Mar 6, 2015 at 22:14
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    "No supernatural flavors involved" Mar 7, 2015 at 8:55

2 Answers 2

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In the United States the Food and Drug Administration Code of Federal Regulations has specific guidelines for what constitutes "natural flavors" as detailed here: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=501.22

In fact it appears that the language on the can is specifically required by law.

If the food contains both a characterizing flavor from the product whose flavor is simulated and other natural flavor which simulates, resembles or reinforces the characterizing flavor, the food shall be labeled in accordance with the introductory text and paragraph (i)(1)(i) of this section and the name of the food shall be immediately followed by the words with other natural flavor (emphasis mine) in letters not less than one-half the height of the letters used in the name of the characterizing flavor.

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    Oddly enough, the wording 7-up uses is "100% natural flavors"
    – yuritsuki
    Mar 6, 2015 at 20:26
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    @blancocayo Probably because "Orange" soda has the "characterizing flavor" of an orange, whereas 7-up tastes nothing like the number 7. ;)
    – Lumberjack
    Mar 6, 2015 at 20:28
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    That's true. I know what the number 7 tastes like. Mar 6, 2015 at 20:45
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    So, tl;dr it says this because some of the natural flavors in it aren't made from real oranges. Do the appearance of lemons and limes on the label not mean 7-up has a "characterizing flavor" of lemon and lime?
    – Random832
    Mar 6, 2015 at 22:10
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    @Random832 - I think words are "actionable"...I don't think pictures or drawings are.
    – Oldcat
    Mar 7, 2015 at 0:54
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Redundant:

adjective

1 Not or no longer needed or useful; superfluous:

It seems logical that naturally flavored makes natural flavors redundant, or vice versa, but if the government mandates linguistic redundancy, it is needed for cutting through the regulatory red tape.

The etymology of redundant is actually excessive, rather than unnecessary:

1590s, from Latin redundantem (nominative redundans), present participle of redundare, literally "overflow, pour over; be over-full;" figuratively "be in excess," from re- "again" (see re-) + undare "rise in waves," from unda "a wave" (see water (n.1)). Of persons, in employment situations, from 1928, chiefly British. Related: Redundantly.

Both government and advertisers tend toward needless excess. As Josh suggested in a comment, using the word natural twice in six words increases the emotional impact of the words, making it neither needless nor excessive from the illogical perspective of government and advertising.


www.oxforddictionaries.com

www.etymonline.com

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  • So is there a reason why some other fruity brands with natural flavors say it differently, like 100% natural flaovrs, or All-Natural?
    – yuritsuki
    Mar 6, 2015 at 22:14
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    You can be quite certain the label has been researched thoroughly, and every word has a reason--even if it is not rooted in logic. Finding what the reason is might be quite a task.
    – ScotM
    Mar 6, 2015 at 22:17

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