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Walmart Shoppers Are Alarmed by Fishy Ingredients in Great Value Foods

Consumers share concerns about recent discoveries involving tilapia and anchovies.

As perhaps the best known retailer in the U.S., Walmart manages to stir up conversation daily, both positive and negative. Back in February, a Facebook post about the company went viral because it showed $2 eggs being sold at a Kentucky store. And just last month, a TikTok video had thousands of shoppers gushing about getting fresh food at Walmart for cheap. Now, social media users are setting their sights on the grocery chain's store brand, Great Value—and specifically, the ingredients in some of its products. Read on to find out why some Walmart shoppers are alarmed.

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A TikTok user made a video about a surprising ingredient in Great Value marshmallows.


A new viral video is calling into question the ingredients in some Great Value products.

On April 1, TikTok user Paden Ferguson took to his account @padiano to talk about a recent discovery he made after purchasing Great Value marshmallows. "Hey when was the last time we checked in on Great Value brand at Walmart? Because I have some concerns," he says in the video.

Ferguson shows a bag of mini marshmallows that he had recently purchased at Walmart. Flipping the bag over, the TikTok user points out an odd disclaimer under the product's ingredient list: "May contain traces of tilapia."

"Why? What?" Ferguson says after reading the warning. "Now listen I know we don't expect a lot from Walmart, but like why are fish my marshmallows? I just, I don't get it."

Walmart shoppers say this isn't the only unsettling ingredient alert.


Replying to @jennifergerrity what is going on here?! #walmartfinds

♬ original sound – Paden Ferguson


This is not the only fishy finding, however. In the comment section of Ferguson's video, shoppers sounded off on similar discoveries with other Walmart foods.

"Just checked … My great value syrup may contain anchovies," TikTok user Jennifer Gerrity replied.

Ferguson followed up on this comment by making another video from the syrup aisle of a Walmart store.

"All right, I'm back. Great Value got some explaining to do," he says, pulling a bottle of Great Value Butter Flavored Syrup from the shelf and showing the ingredients list. "There's no butter in the butter-flavored syrup. But there may be anchovies."

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People are torn on why there may be traces of fish in these foods.


The same ingredient alerts for Great Value Mini Marshmallows and Great Value Butter Flavored Syrup are shown in both product's official listings on the Walmart website. Best Life reached out to Walmart about these ingredients, and we will update this story with their response.

But social media users offered different explanations for why there may be traces of fish in these foods.

As several people explained in the comment section of Ferguson's original video, the potential tilapia in the marshmallows may be due to the type of gelatin Great Value is using in the product.

"Gelatin is made from ligaments of animals. In this case, I imagine they use fish ligaments to make the gelatin for these marshmallows," one user responded.

Another replied, "This means it's not made with beef gelatin, but fish gelatin."

Some commenters pointed to another possibility, however. The tilapia traces and the potential for anchovies in the syrup could be the result of where these Great Value products are produced.

"It means that they process those items in the same factory and can't guarantee no cross contamination," one user responded to the follow-up video.

Some believe it's a concern for consumers either way.


In a separate post, Ferguson highlighted the two potential possibilities people have brought up.

"All right so there have been a lot of comments being like, 'Oh, it's just fish gelatin.' Which it could be, that's fine," he says. "But it also could just mean that they process fish in the same facility right because it doesn't specify. It just says 'gelatin,' and then it just says 'may contain' right?"

According to Ferguson, this uncertainty could lead to a health concern for consumers.

"If you have an allergy, please contact them. Like call the number. Don't just read the label because we don't actually know," he says.

In fact, at least one person in the comment section of Ferguson's TikTok video claimed that they experienced an allergic reaction as a result of these fishy Great Value food ingredients.

"We bought these a few years ago and I ate a handful," they responded to the marshmallow video. "Being allergic to fish, it was a fun evening. Contacted Walmart and they didn't care."

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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