Apr 3, 2009

Trop50: An Orange Juice Ripoff

Tropicana (a wholly-owned subsidiary of PepsiCo) recently released a new juice drink product called Trop50. The sales pitch: it has 50% fewer calories and 50% less sugar than regular orange juice. I'm all in favor of reduced calorie/sugar beverages, but do the economics of this make sense?

I spotted a container of Trop50 at the store and although it is the same shape and price as the regular Tropicana ($2.96), the Trop50 package is 8% smaller by volume (64 ounces versus 59 ounces). The problem compounds when you flip the carton around and notice the statement "contains 42% juice." The back panel reveals that the primary ingredient is water, followed by reconstituted orange juice, then some vitamins, and finally stevia (a non-sugar "natural" sweetener). So Trop50 expects you to pay an 8% premium for a product that contains 58% less juice (58% more watered-down) than regular OJ?

Here's a cheaper alternative: fill your glass halfway with regular orange juice, then add water until it's full (cost per 12 oz serving: $0.28). Or, buy Trop50 (12 oz for $0.60), and pay a 117% premium for the 30 seconds it will save you in the morning.


Big Al said...

What if you didn't know the price of the 100% juice in advance?

ghostlygerbils said...

In a related note, they were giving out free samples of "Vitamin Water 10" the other day, and it tasted awful. Who on earth would pay $3.00 for a bad-tasting 10 calories when they could just take a multivitamin with a glass of water?

Colleen said...

I tried Trop50 Pomegrant/Blueberry juice recently. It tasted like watered down apple juice heavily dyed with purple coloring. I was really disgusted. I called Tropicana's(Pepsi)consumer hotline and got a rude rude customer service representative that was not the least bit interested in the voice of the consumer feedback. Instead she read me a sales pitch....Don't buy this lousy product---it is not worth a slim dime and Pepsi needs to acquire leadership in product marketing and customer facing functions.

Lance said...

Don't let this happen to you!

I accidentally bought "Trop50 orange juice beverage with vitamins" when I was trying to buy regular OJ. The packaging, IMHO, is very misleading, as it's nearly identical to the OJ packaging and it's in the same area. It was a shock when I tasted it; I thought Tropicana's quality control had miserably failed. This is now my third day of drinking the stuff and I just now realized that it tastes terrible because it isn't OJ.