A reader was curious as to why Snapple’s Apple Juice Drink, despite having pictures of cut apples on the front, did not have “apple” in the list of product ingredients. Instead, they have “filtered water, sugar, pear juice, concentrate, citric acid, natural flavors” and “vegetable and fruit extracts (for color).” So I emailed Snapple customer service asking them them why, and also if they mainly used pears instead of apples. Here is their reply, which contains the words “promulgated” and “proprietary.”
June 22, 2011
Dear Mr Popken:
Thank you for contacting our Company regarding our ingredients in our products.
Our Company complies with all applicable labeling regulations promulgated in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory bodies. Product flavor components that form part of our “natural” or “natural and/or artificial flavors” ingredients are considered proprietary to our Company. If you have a concern regarding the intake of this product, we suggest that you contact your health care provider. If you have known sensitivities to any substance listed in the ingredient statement, we advise discontinuing use of the product.
Thanks again for contacting us.
Mmm, that delicious opacity tastes “natural,” like it was flavored with artificial and natural “malarkey.”
Here’s what’s really going on: While something called “juice” and having pictures of fruit on it is required to have its flavor mainly come from the pictured fruit, if you call it “juice drink” you don’t need to have the flavor be derived from the items on the picture. It can also contain as little as 5% juice.
That sounds like a contender to become the next “Snapple Cap Fact!”
So the answer to this mystery is that Naturally Flavored Snapple Apple With Other Natural Flavors Juice Drink contains 10% juice, most of which is pear juice concentrate flavored to taste “appley,” because the government says it’s okay, and, most importantly, people will buy it.
Supposedly also apple juice itself doesn’t taste like what people expect of apples when its used as a flavoring, which is why tweaked-out pears are used instead.
Food Label Fibs: Juice Drinks [Foodcom.org]