Monday, June 27, 2011

All I Want Is A Bottle Of Cranberry Juice!

© 2011 Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc

There is a scene in the movie The Hurt Locker (2008) where a soldier home from war stands in the middle of a supper market aisle and becomes overwhelmed by all the products. I know the feeling.

Last week cranberry juice was on my shopping list and when I reached the bottled juice aisle looking for a bottle of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice I found what seemed like hundreds of bottles of Ocean Spray including Cranberry Juice Cocktail, Cranberry Juice Cocktail with Calcium, Cran-Grape, Cran-Pomegranate, Cran-Raspberry, Cran-Apple, Cran-Cherry,and Cran-Strawberry. There were also Diet and Light versions of each flavor and bottles of what Ocean Spray calls Juice Blends. In total there are 45 different types of Ocean Spray juices and all are put in bottles that are exactly like the one shown above.

After locating the plain old cranberry section, I ignored the cranberry juice that contained calcium and grabbed a bottle with the word Cranberry Juice Cocktail written across the front of it and put it in my shopping cart. The next day I pulled it out of my refrigerator, poured myself a glass, took a big sip and swallowed. It tasted wrong. It was too sweet and had a funny taste. I pulled the bottle back out of the refrigerator and looked at the label. Right there in big letter were the words Cranberry Juice Cocktail but next to it were also the words WITH A HINT OF LIME and right above the letters Cran in the word Cranberry, was a small yellow label with the word New! written in blue letters. And I missed them. I missed the extra words on the label because I was so overwhelmed and frustrated by all the choices that when I saw a bottle which had the words Cranberry Juice Cocktail written on the label I just grabbed it and put it in my cart.

This I do not blame Ocean Spray for as it was my own fault. I should have examined the bottle closer before I put it in my cart. If I had I would have also seen the words Cranberry Lime Juice Drink With Another Juice written in smaller letters across the bottom of the label. Now, I'm upset with Ocean Spray. What, their Cranberry Juice Cocktail is no longer just cranberry juice anymore? I looked at the ingredients listed on the CJC WITH LIME bottle and found; filtered water, cranberry juice from concentrate, cane or beet sugar, white grape juice from concentrate, lime juice from concentrate, natural flavors, and red grape concentrate for color. No wonder it tastes sweet and funny at the same time- it's the grape and lime juice. It also has those words I do not like to see on any food ingredients list, natural flavors. You can hide a lot behind those two words. Whenever I see them I wonder what the product tasted like before the natural flavors were added.

Today I bought another bottle of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail, plain old cranberry juice this time but I made sure to read the ingredients before I left the store; filtered water, cranberry juice from concentrate and cane or beet sugar. No white grape juice from concentrate. No red grape concentrate for color. No natural flavors. I'm happy but I do wonder what is in their other juices and if you are wondering, too, don't go looking for the answer at the Ocean Spray website because the information isn't there. I know, I checked.


Kay Dennison said...

Yikes!  I have grabbed the wrong bottle myself and wound up with stuff I really didn't want.  As expensive as food is these days, I sure as hell don't want to waste my time and money on stuff I neither need or want.

ally bean said...

I hear your frustration.  I understand that companies want to have new products-- which is fine.  But I think they do a disservice to loyal customers of the original products by making the prod labels so confusing.  It's very close to the old bait and switch ploy, isn't it?  

All I want to see is a simple label that says [honestly] that this product is the original.  The marketing dept can mess with the labels on all the other stuff, but leave the original one alone.

la peregrina said...

Thank you, ladies, I knew others out there in blogland would feel my pain.

Blue Witch said...

It's complexity theory.  And the answer to why half the developed world takes unnecessary medication.

Every product has too many choices.  They're just not necessary.

They've done the same over here with OJ - I expect cranberry is the next on the list to be messed with.

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