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Friday, February 17, 2006 

Au'some Fruit Juice Nuggets Pouches

Fruit Juice Nuggets are the perfect example of a good idea gone wrong. Florida's Natural (better known for their orange juice), were really on to something when they decided to make a fruit snack with, well, fruit. Unfortunately, however, they decided to take it one step further and RUIN this fruit with corn syrup and added sugar.

To me, once you add sugars to fruits they cease being "healthy" products, and they become treats that belong next to the jelly beans and lollipops. The folks over at Florida's Natural, apparently, disagree. Pick up any flavor of "Au'some Fruit Juice Nuggets," and you'll see healthy words such as "natural," "fruit," "vitamins," and "minerals" dancing around the box making the consumer really believe that this is simply "cute" fruit that's perfect for on-the-go snacking.

I expressed my concern regarding the sugar and corn syrup to a Florida's Natural sales representative. He was extremely dismissive of my comments, and his retort was, "these are better than the other fruit snack products currently on the market because they contain higher amounts of real fruits and fruit juices. They really are a healthier alternative." To me, being "better" than the junk that's out there isn't all that impressive, and I remained unconvinced that this product shouldn't be moved to the candy aisle.

In any case, here are the facts for the Cranberry Apple flavor:

Calories = 130, Fat = 0 g, Sodium = 35 mg, Carbohydrates = 33 g, Fiber = 1 g, Sugars = 25 g, vitamin A = 30%, vitamin C = 100%, calcium =10%, iron =30%, thiamin =30%, niacin = 30%, riboflavin = 30%, zinc = 30%.

Sure, the stats are seemingly impressive, but realize that kids (and adults too) already get way more than their fair share of sugar. Overall, this product is a great idea, and I'm truly baffled as to why they can't simply omit the corn syrup and sugar. The sweeteners seem completely superfluous (fruit is already sweet enough on its own), and turn this product into sugar-vitamin as opposed to a great way for kids to get their fruits.

Oh. Admittedly, they do taste good--but that's not the point.


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