The Real Reason Some Costco Shoppers Are Unhappy With This Peanut-Free Spread

Wow, is it hard to get through life with a peanut allergy! Forget about Reese's Pieces, not to mention pad Thai, and other Asian dishes that are sautéed in peanut oil — which is also used to cook the french fries at Five Guys. This allergy is life-threatening, according to Mayo Clinic. And even if your own kids don't have any issues with peanuts, many schools have peanut-free food policies, which means you can't just smear some PB on a few slices of bread in the morning and know your kid will have a nutritious, filling lunch. That's why some parents were thrilled to see WOWBUTTER, a peanut-free, tree-nut-free nut butter alternative, spotted on the shelves of Costco (per Instagram). WOWBUTTER claims on its website to offer "great lunch solutions for parents and kids both with and without peanut allergies," and some consumers say their nut-free butter tastes just like the real thing. 

But not everyone was excited to see the product, listed at just $6.99 per 35 ounce tub, at the giant warehouse. "Seems like a bunch of chemicals lol," posted one Instagram user. Another referred to the ingredients as "garbage." Why the hate for WOWBUTTER? 

Shoppers are less than wowed by WOWBUTTER's soy content

Shoppers commenting on the @Costco_DoesItAgain Instagram post expressed concern that WOWBUTTER contains soy. "About 95% of soy in the US is made in a lab. It's genetically engineered. Google it," commented one user. Another user said there is a link between genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and inflammation, explaining that soy, "when not prepared properly (i.e. fermented, like Tempeh) it's highly inflammatory which will increase your omega 3 to omega 6 ratio. Inflammation causes disease which is why people are saying it's bad for you," she added. However, WOWBUTTER claims on its website to use all-natural ingredients that are non-GMO, and the company's use of non-modified ingredients has been independently verified by the Non-GMO Project. 

Soy itself, though, does worry some consumers. According to Healthline, medical experts are split on whether soy is a friend or a foe to our health, noting that it's quite the controversial ingredient. Some have claimed that this plant is linked to cancer, thyroid issues, and feminizing effects in men, but the greater body of research actually shows health benefits such as reducing the incidence of cancer.