Raspberry Lemonade With 50% Less Sugar From Tropicana: Healthy?

Tropicana Trop50 Lemonade Review

June 1, 2011   21 Comments

After Snack Girl's trip to McD's last week (see: McDonald's Frozen Strawberry Lemonade: Don't Believe The Hype ), she decided to hit Target for the latest from Tropicana.

You might have seen ads for this drink on our website in the upper right hand corner. And, I thought I would test it for healthiness.

Snack-Girl.com has a partner relationship with FoodBuzz - I don't actually get contacted by Tropicana to put advertisements on this site.

As I write, I have a glass of it on my desk and (gurgle gurgle gurgle....slurp) I am tasting it. Well, it tastes like fruit punch - and I don't notice any lack of sugar.

hmmm. The Minute Maid flavored juice beverage has 30 grams of sugar for an 8 ounce serving, and Trop50 has 12 grams in this raspberry lemonade for the same serving.

Check! This IS 50% less sugar than your average raspberry lemonade.

Here are the nutritional facts:

For 8 ounces: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 12 g carbohydrates, 0 g protein, 0 g fiber, 15 mg sodium, 1 Points+

Ingredients:

Filtered water, sucrose, white grapefruit pulp, lemon juice concentrate, lemon juice, red raspberry juice concentrate, natural flavors, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), citric acid, Reb A(Pure Via (TM) brand) and vitamin E acetate (vitamin E).

I think it is a little bizarre to have white grapefruit pulp playing the role of lemon pulp - but, hey, who am I to judge?

Tropicana is owned by PepsiCo, Inc., and Pepsi has been making an effort to come out with healthier products. Juice, in my opinion, is always a treat and for $2.79 for 60 ounces this is a pretty cheap one.

Where I get concerned is that the front of the package says "No Artificial Sweeteners" and there is something called Reb A added to the juice.

Slurp...I can't taste the Reb A - but I can taste a slightly chemical taste that reminds me of an artificial sweetener. (I am a recovered Diet Coke addict so I know this flavor.)

Reb A is also known as Rebaudioside A. It is the sweetest of all the natural compounds in the stevia leaf (see:Reb A from Pure Via).

Stevia was approved by the FDA in 2008, and is a HERBAL sweetener so it is not considered artificial like Nutrasweet or Sucralose which are made in a laboratory out of other chemicals.

Of course, the leaves of the stevia plant are processed in a laboratory to remove the Reb A using ethanol. I don't believe Reb A is a natural sweetener like, let's say, honey (processed by bees), but it is a bit like sugar (processed in a manufacturing plant).

My question to Pepsi is how did this drink taste without the Reb A? Two teaspoons of sugar (10 grams) seems like a good amount for 8 ounces of juice. Did it work?

Do you think American's won't drink lemonade if it is tart? Isn't that the point of lemonade?

You know, I do think this is a step forward - there are no artificial colors in this product - it does taste okay and it does have less sugar. The final step is to leave out additional ingredients that are, frankly, unnecessary in this juice.

I would drink this on a hot summer day with a lot of ice and have a treat. I would also make my own lemonade and drink that with a lot of ice (when I can figure out how to make my own lemonade :)

Have you tried Trop50? What do you think?

Want to read about snacks?
This "Juice" Has HFCS and More Sugar Per Serving Than Soda
McDonald's Frozen Strawberry Lemonade: Don't Believe The Hype
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First 20 Comments: [ see all 21 ]

I haven't tried this yet. I do love the Trop50 orange juice that they put out. HALF the calories! And it tastes just as orangey, and I like it better than normal oj because it's not so heavy, especially as the hot weather is starting to come around here. I will try this one as well.

on June 1, 2011

Organic Valley is going to put their organic orange juice back on store shelves soon... that seems like the safest best to me.

on June 1, 2011

I don't like Trop50. It tastes diet. I would rather eat an orange. As for the lemonade, I have not tried it because I did not like the orange.

on June 1, 2011

I make homemade lemonade 1-2x/year for family BBQs. Here's a few recipes that work well:

http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/lemonade-recipes

on June 1, 2011

Hey Lisa,

Great post! Thank you for looking behind the industry hype and marketing of this product. I especially loved that you questioned the sugar content.

on June 1, 2011

I have found that many of the reduced calorie/reduced sugar juices and drinks are just watered down versions of the regular formula, especially when the first ingredient says "water".

on June 1, 2011

If you are on a medication that says "do not eat grapefruit while on this medication", you may want to take notice that this drink contains white grapefruit pulp. Besides, who would want that in a drink?

on June 1, 2011

I'm not a sugar nut and in general i can't stand sugary things, and one thing i hate about american brand juices is that they're always SO RIDICULOUSLY SWEET. it's completely over the top! And a lot of times i get irritated by the "no added sugar" because if it's from concentrate, it just means they mix more of the juice concentrate with less of the water to make it sweeter (or as sweet as their regular sugar added counter parts) so it's not any less sweet or more healthy really...sorta like how you're looking at the amount of sugar per serving, that REALLY tells you how much sugar (natural or added) that's really in what you're drinking

in any case, a lot of times i mix juice (even oj) with seltzer water (bubbles!) to give it a mild bubbliness and makes the juices less sweet :D

on June 1, 2011

Making lemonade is as easy as making toast- seriously. You really don't need a recipe. It is just fresh lemon (or lime or both) juice, sugar, and water. I usually fill a large glass with ice, grab a lemon, squeeze the juice into it with a hand juice thing that looks like a lever (similar to a hand garlic press, but bigger and shaped to put half a lemon, orange, etc. in it. It is really cheap, check the utensil section of your favorite big box store.)
Throw in a little sugar and fill with water. Mix it up and taste it. Add more sugar if needed. Done. Enjoy!

on June 1, 2011

Trader Joe's has low calorie lemonade (regular and pink) that are 40 calories/10 g carbs per cup that are sweetened 1/2 with stevia and 1/2 with cane sugar. It's cheaper and a little tarter than Tropicana. PLUS for adults who want a lower calorie "margarita" replacement, it makes a decent substitute for margarita mix if you add a little lime juice (or a True Lime packet) and a bit of salt... :-)

on June 1, 2011

The lemonade recipes from Martha Steward are loaded with sugar. The first has 12 teaspoons per cup. Couldn't we put our heads together to develop some summer drinks, including lemonade, that have a minimum of calories, say 20 per cup? Who drinks just 8 oz. on a hot summer's day?

on June 1, 2011

Great review! I have seen this at the grocery store but did not try. I usually prefer to juice my own drink, but that is time-consuming and not always possible. So it is good to see your review before making my decision to buy.

on June 1, 2011

I have to agree with some of the earlier commenters. I typically avoid Trop50 products, because they taste like regular juice mixed with water which I could do myself when I am not on the go. In most cases, I would rather drink water or just limit my juice intake.

on June 2, 2011

I just tried the Trop50 lemonade today, and I did NOT like it at all. It was very tart and pulpy. That may be great for a lot of people, but it wasn't what I was expecting. I really like sweeter, smoother juices and I thought that's what this would be but it's not at all. My warning to anyone interested in trying Trop50 lemonade is to prepare yourself for the real homemade taste of it.

on June 9, 2011

I just tried the Trop50 raspberry lemonade and I hate it. It has an aftertaste and it is not good. I also don't like all the pulp.

on June 28, 2011

I have tried and really love the Blueberry Pomagran Trop 50. This one is a low calorie beverage with additional antioxidants. Pour it over ice , because it is pretty strong.

on July 9, 2011

It is soo difficult to please all. Trop50 is infinitely superior to so many natural juices for anyone who is even 2 lbs overweight. IF you think it tastes too sweet, as I think even natural OJ is, add water. I add equal quantity of water to Trop50, so calories disappear. Americans still prefer the sweet taste, so the supermarkets supply OJ Trop50, which tastes saccarine. The biggest health problem with Trop50 is only Orange flavored is usually available, and of course, no one dillutes it sufficiently.

on July 23, 2011

I just threw out most of a bottle of Trop 50 raspberry lemonade. It had a terrible saccharine taste. I should have checked the reviews first. If that's what Stevia tastes like, I'll stick with Spenda.

on July 31, 2011

Thank you so much for this one, Snack Girl!

I tried the raspberry and the regular lemonade--my brother (who is 15, and my official does-this-suck-or-not taste tester) couldn't tell that the Lemonade was 1/2-cal. We could BOTH tell that the Raspberry was...
But what bothered me most was that it didn't even TASTE like raspberry. Or lemonade.

I recommend the regular lemonade--it's got that little bit of tartness, too!

on August 2, 2011

Just tried Trop 50 lemonade, my friends and I were looking for a low calorie margarita mix. Poured it over ice with a high end tequlia and a splash of Grand Marnier. It tastes great! Not as sicky sweet as the traditional mixes, and much cheaper than the Skinny Girl brand mix.

on October 28, 2012

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