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April 28, 2014

Where’s the Beef err… Pomegranate Juice?

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:36 am

 We’ve done a number of stories about juice products that look like one type of juice, but really are primarily another.

Here’s another egregious example, Minute Maid Pomegranate Blueberry:

Minute Maid

While the company does call this a juice blend, its primary ingredients are neither pomegranate nor blueberry juice.

*Mouse Print:

Minute Miad

Worse than the not-very-surprising fact that apple juice is the primary ingredient, is the actual amount of pomegranate and blueberry juices in the bottle.

According to a lawsuit by Pom Wonderful (not exactly a paragon of straight talk about its own brand of pomegranate juice), the actual amount of pomegranate juice and blueberry juice is tiny:

*MOUSE PRINT:

Coca-Cola’s “Pomegranate Blueberry” product contains only 0.3% pomegranate juice and 0.2% blueberry juice; it consists primarily of (less expensive and less desirable) apple and grape juices, which amount to over 99% of the juice.

What? Just one-half of one-percent of the primary ingredients featured on the front of the bottle? According to Pom’s lawyer, that is about one teaspoon in half a gallon of juice.

It seems to us that Minute Maid left out the key component of this beverage from their ingredients list: baloney!

• • •

11 Comments

  1. Sometimes I think that the potency of individual flavors is so different that some juices don’t need a lot to have a strong flavor. I know that pomegranate and blueberry aren’t the main flavors, but when I drink the juice, if it tastes like pomegranate and blueberry is that really a big deal?

    I don’t know. When I buy strawberry flavored drinks and I can clearly taste the strawberry I stop caring about how much strawberry is actually in the drink. Perhaps there should be a rule stipulating that manufacturers clearly state the percentage of each ingredient advertised as the flavor.

    Comment by Wayne R — April 28, 2014 @ 8:12 am
  2. How about mandating that the product name follow the order of the ingredients? “Minute Maid Apple Grape Pomegranate”…yum…never-ending line extensions of apple juice to please every palate!

    Comment by Marty — April 28, 2014 @ 8:36 am
  3. To the previous commenter Wayne R: There’s a difference between juice and flavored drinks. Nobody would bat an eyelash if a flavored drink didn’t have actual fruit in it. But for a Pomegranate Blueberry juice to have so little pomegranate and blueberry in it, that’s fraud.

    Comment by Tundey — April 28, 2014 @ 8:56 am
  4. Wayne R, pomegranate and blueberries are “healthy” foods, so people are tricked in to thinking they will get some health benefits out of this, not just flavoring. THAT is why they are deceiving people about this drink.

    Comment by Max — April 28, 2014 @ 9:22 am
  5. I see this store brands as well. Even the first ingredient in Ocean Spray Cranberry Pomegranate Flavor, 100% Juice is Apples…

    Apples are like super cheap per pound in bulk while Pomegranates and Blueberries are not.

    At least they show an apple in the photo so they are not fully lying.

    This is like the Frozen Dairy Desert mess we see. What percentage of Pomegranates and Blueberries do you need to have to FULLY call it Pomegranate Blueberry juice.

    Comment by Richard Ginn — April 28, 2014 @ 12:32 pm
  6. Apple and grape juices are also basically just sugar with near zero redeeming factors. It’s like corn syrup except it’s a fruit, so just about anything that’s “100% fruit juice” (and not more specific than that) is usually mostly this. Also, less often, pear juice. That said, 100% pomegranate and/or blueberry juices would be so intense, many people would not be able to drink them.

    Comment by BZ — April 28, 2014 @ 12:53 pm
  7. The only true way to know you have 100% juice 0f the flavor you like is to juice you own. All one has to do it just think the number of pomegranates and blueberries required to get the amount of juice in the packaged container and compare it to the cost of fresh fruit.

    Apples, grapes, and pears are used so often because they are cheap and easily masked flavors. This way they do not have to say they are adding sugar and people believe its healthy.

    Comment by Joseph — April 28, 2014 @ 3:33 pm
  8. To the commenters who responded to me:

    Yes, the juice does not contain mostly pomegranate, but the box says “juice blend”. I have never tried to drink pure pomegranate juice, but I assume that the taste would be too strong on its own. As I stated in my comment, the bitterness from pomegranate and blueberry juice is masked with sugar and water, but still has a strong enough flavor of pomegranate.

    Comment by Wayne R — April 28, 2014 @ 6:12 pm
  9. For me, the mouse print is on the front label. “…flavored blend of 5 juices.”

    There’s some effort to indicate that the “pomegranate” and “blueberry” are just flavorings. The deception definitely could be worse.

    Comment by Marc K — April 28, 2014 @ 9:17 pm
  10. I agree with Marc K the deception could be worse, but “pomegranate” and “blueberry” are the TWO main names used on the label.

    Like most fruit juice blends the first two items are apple and grape…

    You would sell less of the juice if you called Apple and Grape with trace amounts of pomegranate and blueberry juice added. If you believe POM pomegranate and blueberry make up less than 1% of the stuff in the bottle.

    Comment by Richard Ginn — April 29, 2014 @ 12:19 pm
  11. I go to my local middle eastern grocery and buy jars of 100% pure Pomegranate juice (Not Pomegranate Molasses which is syrup).

    It is a bit tart. I make my own mix with any of the bottled juices and also use it in cooking.

    I don’t buy Juices which are blatantly misleading such as that mentioned above.

    Comment by Jon Freeman — May 20, 2014 @ 7:58 am

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