Capri Sun Sunrise and 100% Juice Exposed

THIS POST ISN’T ABOUT WHETHER CAPRI SUN IS A HEALTHY OPTION. It is about advertisers bending the truth, food production and marketing tricks and, most of all, knowing what you’re really ingesting.

Capri Sun has been advertising heavily for its two new products: Sunrise, a replacement for boring old orange juice, and 100% Juice, a replacement for boring old juice boxes. The ads and web site focus on how much fun Capri Sun is, especially the pouch. “Fun-for-them, no-fuss-for-you” and “the pouch kids love.”  The website says “Keepin’ it real.”

Oh, really, Capri Sun? Let’s see how “real” you’re “keepin’ it”.

Capri Sun Sunrise

Sunrise comes in three flavors: Orange Wake Up, Tropical Morning, and Berry Tangerine.  Each has 15 g sugar and 100% vitamin C.

One might think that the Orange Wake Up is made with orange juice, the Tropical Morning is made with tropical fruit juices, and the Berry Tangerine was made with berry and tangerine juices, but, well, one would be wrong.

All three are made with the same exact ingredients:

Water, Sugar, Apple And Orange Juice Concentrates, Calcium Lactate, Citric Acid, Water Extracted Orange Juice Concentrate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Natural Flavor.

While there is orange juice in the Orange Wake Up, it’s also in the other two drinks.  In fact, all three of these drinks are apple and orange juice. The ingredient giving these drinks each their unique flavor is the last ingredient: Natural Flavor.

Natural flavor isn’t the natural flavors that come from the fruits in the product name. It’s a flavor concocted by a food scientist from natural ingredients rather than synthetic ones. (Read more about the difference in Scientific American (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=what-is-the-difference-be-2002-07-29), and note that natural flavor isn’t necessarily healthier or safer.)

As a consumer, it’s important to note that Capri Sun doesn’t call these products orange juice, tropical fruit juice and berry tangerine juice. If it did, then that’s what they’d have to be.  In fact, the word juice doesn’t even appear on the front of the pouch.

Similar tactics are used with the 100% Juice.

Capri Sun 100% Juice

This product reminds me of a store I used to drive by when commuting. It had a big sign out front screaming “Bankruptcy Sale!” which turned out to be merely the name of the store, not a reflection of the store’s finances or prices.

Capri Sun does something similar by naming its product “100% Juice” – that is the name of the product, not even a label claim.

Even if it was a label claim, it’s important to understand that in food products, “100%” doesn’t mean the same thing as it does in math. Something can be labeled “100% juice” and still have other ingredients, in this case, citric acid and natural flavor.  Whether those ingredients are a problem is a question for another time. The point is, a product can say 100% juice, but it isn’t and you have to check the ingredients.

100% Juice comes in 5 flavors: Fruity Dive, Berry Breeze, Apple Splash, Grape Tide, Cirtus Wave. The reason Capri Sun gives these drinks such fancy names isn’t just to make them sound “cool”, it’s also because the company isn’t then limited to using a certain type of juice.

For example, Berry Breeze does contain strawberry juice, along with pear and grape juices. Last time I checked, pears and grapes weren’t berries. But with the use of Natrual Flavor, Capri Sun can make it taste as berry-like as needed and the Citric Acid makes it taste tart.

The other drinks have a similar composition, relying heavily on apple and grape juice, some other juice, citric acid, and natural flavors to round out the taste.

Fruity Dive: Apple, Grape, And Cherry Juices From Concentrate (Water; Grape, Apple And Cherry Juice Concentrates); Citric Acid (For Tartness); Natural Flavor.

Berry Breeze: Pear, Grape, And Strawberry Juices Form Concentrate (Water; Pear, Grape And Strawberry Juice Concentrates); Citric Acid (For Tartness); Natural Flavor.

Apple Splash: Apple Juice From Concentrate (Water, Apple Juice Concentrate), Citric Acid (For Tartness), Natural Flavor.

Grape Tide: Apple And Grape Juices From Concentrate (Water, Apple And Grape Juice Concentrates), Citric Acid (For Tartness), Natural Flavor.

Citrus Wave: Apple, Grape, Pear, Orange, And Tangerine Juices Form Concentrate (Water; Grape, Apple, Pear, Tangerine, And Orange Juice Concentrates); Citric Acid (For Tartness); Natural Flavor.

The bottom line: Capri Sun Sunrise and 100% Juice aren’t exactly what we’re led to believe based on the advertising. Food marketers routinely bend the truth on packaging – that’s their job, to get us to buy the product. Always check the ingredients – that’s our job, to know what our families our eating.

 

8 comments for “Capri Sun Sunrise and 100% Juice Exposed

  1. Ronald
    June 17, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I agreed if the product doesn’t have 100% in it it should claim 100%. For example if a product have several juices mixed with it it shouldn’t be able to claim its a grape juice when it has cherry juice,apple juice grape juice. It should say juice blend. IMO

  2. cat
    June 18, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Good point, Ronald. Juice blend is more accurate. To the typical consumer, 100% juice would be interpreted as the product is only the juice of the fruit indicated and nothing else — other juices or additives.

  3. Jesse
    November 16, 2010 at 7:56 am

    I am staring at an empty Tropical Morning pouch as I type this. It does say “Tropical Punch Flavored Juice Blend” and right below that is “From concentrate with other natural flavor” No false advertising there.

    In fact, the box is not misleading at all. Sure, there are fruits on the box and packaging, but I have seen plenty of gum with pictures of fruit and you do not expect to get a full serving out of it. There is nothing to warrant a rant like this. I do not believe they are misleading at all, I believe they are marketing an alternative. Some kids do not like your plain old juices… and it is better than handing your kid a soda.

  4. Nakki
    May 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    The entire purpose of advertising is to claim people’s attention.
    By advertising the way they do, they hope to gain a wider scope of buyers. Therefore, what they put in bigger font is the most misleading information. Given that 100% Juice is actually a lie, for anyone that went through elementary education knows that ‘mathematical’ 100% is truly 100%. That is already accepted as ‘bending the truth’.
    No one claimed it was false advertising.
    In fact, this article is to bring awareness to those who actually do care about exactly what they or their children are ingesting. It completes its purpose quite well, and certainly does not fall under being a ‘rant’.

    In fact, I came upon this article after seeing the commercial and thinking that it was quite odd, considering Capri Sun defiantly does not have a reputation for creating ‘healthy’ products. Upon further inspection, I did see that they have not managed to reach a certain quality which is slightly implied. Not that I’m saying they’re low quality, just not what I, personally, believe ‘healthy’ enough.

  5. shay
    July 31, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I enjoyed the article immensely, but just for the record- grapes *are* berries. They just don’t have ‘berry’ in their name.

  6. Eddie Robins
    August 25, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I just checked for two separate Capri Sun 100% Juice drinks (Apple and Orange) and the only ingredients they have listed is Apple (or Orange) Juice from Concentrate.

    I’m in the UK, maybe it’s different there, but it’s definitely illegal not to list all ingredients.

  7. Eddie Robins
    August 25, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Apologies – I was looking at the 100% PURE Juice products.

Comments are closed.