Tropicana: Our 100% Juice Could Contain "Anything From Nature," Even Dairy

It’s apparently a whole lot of fun to try to get a straight answer out of Tropicana as to what “natural flavors” are in their 100% juice.

Reader Kristina says:

What follows is a conversation between myself (me) and the customer service (CS) representative from Tropicana. (I called their 1.877.342.1813 number around 9:30 am, EST on 5 September 2008):

me: Hi, I am calling to ask about one of your ingredients listed in one of your products.

CS: Ok, go ahead.

me: the label on your juice product says its 100% juice but lists “natural flavors, ingredient not found in regular orange juice.” Could you please let me know what, besides juice, is in your product?

CS: It’s natural flavors, natural flavors come from anything in nature.

me: Can you please tell me what the specific “natural flavors” are that are added to your orange juice?

CS: Natural flavors can be anything from nature.

me: OK, but if it says “100% juice” doesn’t that have to mean that the natural flavors are from another source of juice?

CS: No, its from anything in nature, it could be from dairy.

me: Dairy? But can’t it NOT be from dairy, because it says 100% juice?!

CS: Well, its not from dairy, because dairy is a top 8 allergen and we would have to list that on the label, but I am saying it COULD be from dairy.

me: Can you please divulge what that said ingredient is?

CS: The product you have is from concentrate, any drink from concentrate has natural flavors.

me: I understand this, but what I am asking is WHAT are the natural flavors added to this specific beverage?

*** More back and forth, but ultimately getting her to understand why I was asking the question (re: food sensitivities)

me: Well I would urge your company to list all ingredients and not hide behind all encompassing terms such as “natural flavors” so that your consumers can know exactly what is in your products. I picked up your bottle of juice thinking it was safe because it listed “100% juice” on its label and now you are giving me *possible* contradictory information.

CS: Let me send you out a coupon for our Pure Premium line of juices that are not from concentrate and 100% juice.

Hmm. Maybe they think dairy is “cow juice?”

(Photo: Bonzo McGrue )