Walmart customer holding up Great Value Butter Flavored Syrup with caption 'Just checked...My great value syrup may contain anchovies' (l) Walmart building with sign and blue sky (c) Walmart Great Value Butter Flavored Syrup with caption 'Just checked...My great value syrup may contain anchovies' (r)

Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock @padiano/TikTok (Licensed)

‘Great Value, you’ve got some explaining to do’: Customer shows Walmart syrup may contain anchovies

'There's no butter in the butter-flavored syrup, but there might be anchovies.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Apr 5, 2023   Updated on Apr 6, 2023, 12:00 pm CDT

TikToker Paden Ferguson (@padiano) continues his tour of pointing out ingredients folks wouldn’t expect to find in their Walmart food products. Previously, he was shocked to discover that Great Value Mini Marshmallows may contain tilapia.

Now, he’s posted a follow-up video about the surprising ingredient Great Value Butter Flavored Syrup may contain.

“All right, y’all, I’m back. Great Value, you’ve got some explaining to do,” he says to start the clip. He shows the Great Value Butter Flavored Syrup off to the camera before recording the back of the bottle and pointing out the ingredients list. “There’s no butter in the butter-flavored syrup, but there might be anchovies,” he says.

The Butter Flavored Syrup’s label indicates that it’s packing ingredients such as corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, water, cellulose gum, caramel color sorbic acid, and other difficult-to-pronounce words. This is way more ingredients than the brand’s Pure Maple Syrup, which, unsurprisingly, only contains maple syrup.

However, the bold text at the bottom of the ingredients list is what has Ferguson and other TikTokers raising their eyebrows. It reads: “MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF MILK, EGGS, ANCHOVIES, WHEAT AND SOY.”

@padiano Replying to @jennifergerrity what is going on here?! #walmartfinds ♬ original sound – Paden Ferguson

Some TikTokers who saw the post didn’t seem too concerned about the possibility of their syrup packing bits of tiny forage fish, as other everyday food items are also made with fish.

“Wait till he sees how Worcestershire sauce is made, lol,” one TikToker wrote.

Others explained that it doesn’t necessarily mean the product contains fish. Rather, it is likely processed in the same factory as the anchovies, creating a risk of cross-contamination. Thus, the information is included for anyone allergic to fish or anchovies.

“It’s just a CYA allergen statement. They must produce something that has anchovies in the same facility,” one user wrote.

“It means that they process those items in the same factory and can’t guarantee no cross contamination,” another penned.

Though eating tinned anchovies may not sound appetizing to some, Bon Appétit published an article that may surprise folks about the prevalence of anchovies in some of their favorite condiments and dishes. According to the title, “95% of the Time, Anchovies are the Secret Ingredient.”

Update 12pm CT, April 6: Ferguson told the Daily Dot he didn’t realize the impact his video series was going to have on people.

“Sure there have been a LOT of hilarious comments, but as you have seen several people with extreme allergies never even thought to check these items,” he said, adding he plans to “continue this investigative series.”

“This experience has absolutely made me want to take a closer look at the ingredients labels. Sure, you may save a dollar or two buying the store brand, but is it worth the lower quality ingredients?” he questioned. “And how many people don’t actually have the ability to buy a name brand product? They will be impacted the most. I encourage everybody, especially those with allergies, to read the label of everything they consume. In addition, many store brands offer a money back guarantee. So if you have an allergy, and didn’t notice it before. I would encourage you to try and return it to the store regardless of the amount of time it has been!”

The Daily Dot contacted Walmart via email for further comment.

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*First Published: Apr 5, 2023, 4:01 pm CDT