Back in May of this year, a new product was released in the US by the international company Hero/WhiteWave. Called Fruit2day, this fruit drink is intended to help busy people everywhere increase their consumption of fruit.
What is Fruit2day?
Here is the introduction on the Fruit2day website:
“No doubt about it, fruit does wonders for your health.”
Can’t argue with that one. Let’s keep going:
“But it’s tough to get your fill with an on-the-go lifestyle.”
Hmm. Apparently whoever wrote this has never heard of bananas.
“Now there’s a new way to eat fruit.”
As opposed to chewing and swallowing, I suppose.
“It’s not that we changed fruit. We just discovered that dicing-up real fruit into little bits and adding them to rich blends of all-natural juice and puree tastes really, really good.”
Yes, we know. It’s called a smoothie. Or, if you want to get all fancy on me, a fruit soup.
So drink it, sip it, chew it and enjoy two servings of fruit like you never have before.”
Oh boy…I can’t wait… 🙄
Alright…Enough With The Sarcasm
The stuff can’t really be all that bad. I mean it is real fruit, right? And, as the label says, “No added sugars.” And I’m all for increasing consumer awareness and encouraging people to eat more fruit. But does Fruit2day really rival the nutrient quality, taste, cost, or portability of fresh fruit?
If you take a look at what’s actually in any one of the four Fruit2day flavors, you will notice that the majority of the ingredients are fruit juices.
Here’s the ingredient list for Strawberry Orange:
- strawberry pieces
- apple juice from concentrate
- white grape juice from concentrate
- orange juice with pulp from concentrate
- banana puree
- pineapple pieces and puree
- aronia berry juice from concentrate
- acerola cherry juice from concentrate
- natural flavor
9 ingredients, 5 of which are juices.
The problem with juicing fruit is that vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals are lost in the process. This includes vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, and fiber. And why do we need fiber? Quite simply:
Because of fiber, and because precious food components haven’t been lost through processing, natural plant foods fill you up and do not cause abnormal physiological cravings or hormonal imbalances.
Eating fruits and vegetables with the fiber intact also slows down the rate of glucose absorption, which will prevent blood sugar spikes.
SIDE NOTE: The above quote is from Eat To Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Even though it’s advertised as a diet book, Eat To Live is actually more of a collection of scientific studies pointing to the positive effects of eating a diet devoid of animal products. And while Dr. Fuhrman does advocate eating cooked grains, legumes, and veggies, he also encourages unlimited amounts of raw fruit and vegetables in the diet.
In order for Fruit2day to have any sort of a shelf life without preservatives, the majority of the ingredients must be pasteurized. So, all of the fruit juices are heat-treated. And as we already know, heat = nutrient loss.
And speaking of nutrient loss, what about the fact that the fruit juices included are from concentrate? A juice “not from concentrate” is first squeezed, then pasteurized, and finally packaged. A juice “from concentrate” has an extra step. The water is removed from the juice and then added back in before pasteurization and packaging. More steps, more oxidization, more nutrient loss, AND an overall cheaper quality product
All four flavors have “natural flavor” listed last on the ingredient list. While I’m sure this is something relatively innocent, it would still be nice to know what exactly this flavoring is. I better be careful…my “raw foodist” is showing.
The price of 2 bottles (4 servings worth) of Fruit2day is $3.75. That’s about $.94 per one half cup of fruit. I’ve bought organic bananas for $.65 per pound, local cantaloupe for $1.50 per pound, organic Valencia oranges for $1.15 per pound… I’ve even purchased locally grown, pesticide-free, absolutely delicious peaches for $.75 per pound. Need I say more?
As mentioned above, the big selling point here is that Fruit2day is extremely portable. You just grab a bottle and go! But I ask you, can you not just grab a banana and go, or grab an apple and go, or grab an orange and go? Heck, even melon is pretty portable! Just cut one up in advance, store in pre-portioned plastic containers in the fridge, and carry it along with you.
I haven’t actually tasted this stuff myself. I just can’t bring myself to spend almost $4 on four measly servings of fruit. And heat-treated fruit juice isn’t exactly raw, now is it?
The Final Verdict
Fruit2day just doesn’t measure up. Sure, it’s fruit. But it isn’t whole, nor is it fresh or even raw. And as far as Fruit2day’s ability to convince the masses to eat more fruit, I am skeptical. I’m not a penny pincher, but I just can’t see the average Joe Shmoe shelling out $3.75 for two small bottles of chunky fruit smoothie. Not when you can get a Milky Way bar for under 2 bucks.
But what do you think? Is Fruit2day a worthy competitor of fresh fruit or merely the sad remains of its nutrient-packed opponent?