Light ‘n Healthy – It’s Just Water, Stupid…

I did not want to believe my eyes when I saw the “light” version of Tropicana Orange Juice at the supermarket today.  Tropicana OJ is 100% fruit, how do they make it light?   Hm.. the box says “½ Less Sugar & Calories”, let’s check the ingredients:

Filtered water, not from concentrate pasteurized orange juice, modified food starch, citric acid, malic acid, natural flavors, sucralose (Splenda), and acesulfame potassium; Vitamins & Minerals: potassium citrate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), beta-carotene, tocopherol (vitamin E), magnesium phosphate, niacinamide (vitamin B3), thamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), and pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6)

Wow, I only recognize one “legitim”  item on this list: the orange juice.  Light juice?  Yeah, right.  I’ve got news for everyone: half the juice will naturally have half the Calories and Sugar in it.  The rest is just water, plain and simple. (well, not that plain considering all the crap added to it).

Of course I shouldn’t be surprised, this comes from the industry that sells us tap water in bottles.

Need I say the water/juice mix and the pure juice are sold for the same price?   So here’s my “light juice recipe”: buy the original, mix half a glass juice with half a glass water on your own, free of extra charge, and PayPal me half of what you saved.:-)

Update (9/9/08): See Consumerist on Apple Juice.


  1. Tropicana Orange Juice tastes bad anyway, but this is no OJ. Check the box: it says “Orange Juice BEVERAGE”. That’s how they get away with it.

  2. Zoli,

    Hillarious! Scary that they put “modified food starch” into OJ! But for anybody with kids they will already know you’re trick. For we all serve our little ones Apple Juice where we put in half (or less) of the juice and mix it with our own water. People will pay for anything. This following link is a company that has made a killing selling juice mixed with water to kids (get it? “wadda” juice.) His target market is selling direct to schools where the parents will then know that their kids aren’t being served as much sugar. Pretty clever marketing IMHO.

    Best regards,

    Mark Suster

    (just back from Europe)

  3. I never liked Tropicana to much.

  4. Anonymous says

    Hi Zoli (& Mark) –

    I am the Marketing Director for WaddaJuice – and though 4 months behind this particular Blogosphere, I would like to expound just a bit on these products. Yes, while ’tis just water and yes we all know we are supposed to dilute our kids’ juice, there are several quite important distinctions between Tropicana’s “Light ‘n’ Healthy” and WaddaJuice. WaddaJuice is a much simpler formula: Just juice, water and vitamins. NO artificial sweeteners (Splenda) and NO Modified Corn Starch (that has me a bit perplexed too, Mark).

    Oh, but wait for it…WaddaJuice is tidily packaged in a spill-proof bottle. Certainly worth a penny or two more to keep the back of the mini-van clean, no? As for making a bundle – we are a small group who truly believe we have a better product. We still work out of the basement of the founder’s house – it is true entrepreneurial spirit at its finest. But keep your fingers crossed on the whole making a killing thing!


    Amy Peck

    Director of Marketing & Media


  5. Anonymous says

    How can you call a juice full of synthetic additives, a natural one. But that’s an usual matter nowadays because everybody buys the story. Wouldn’t it be more ethical if a company squeezed some fruits, package them and put a very short expiration term? Now that would be natural. But not very profitable. So we are left with drinking “natural” juice filled with additives. There is an alternative: growing an orchard.

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