April 26, 2006

Minute Maid All Natural Lemonade

It occurs to me that instead of shopping the natural section of the grocery store, that I needed to branch out and see how the wholesome foods and products market was permeating the other aisles. Wow, talk about your Promise Land! Now let's see how they start fulfilling their promises...

The first mainstream product purchased was Minute Maid All Natural Lemonade which came in 12 skinny juice boxes from Target. My husband sheepishly loaded it into the car while promising me that they were "all natural" with "real juice". Oh husband.

To begin with, the packaging is quick to point out that they have added calcium and vitamin C with 10% more calcium and 100% more vitamin C than the unfortified version. The second line in the package tells you that this drink is a good source for both of these nutritional additives.

There is 11% lemon juice in the drink. To be clear, just because a bottle or box indicates a percentage of juice, doesn't necessarily mean it is the juice of a certain fruit, or that it is not from concentrate. For it to be of a certain fruit (ie. lemon juice) then the package must specify that directly. Otherwise, when stated '100% juice', it could actually be any kind of juice, in any form. There is no regulation in how the word 'juice' is used. That said, this has 11% lemon juice from concentrate, not fresh juice.

In addition to the lemon juice and the added calcium citrate and vitamin C (asorbic acid), Minute Maid All Natural Lemonade contains pure filtered water, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and natural flavors. Can anyone tell me exactly why you would need natural flavors when creating an 'all natural' juice? Wouldn't the natural flavors already exist?

The taste seems palatable enough to my two year old. I drink lemon water all day and this tastes less like lemons to me and more like watered down crushed Smarties. But then that could be why the child sucks the box dry like she is a starving mosquito.

The lesson here: there is no rule when it comes to using words like 'all natural' on packaging. Read ingredients and decide for yourself.

Two things to note:
1. I did not add the clouds to the picture to make the lemonade seem more heavenly. This was compliments of the Minute Maid site. I maintained the integrity of the image to preserve Minute Maid's marketing influence and because floating lemonade is funny.
2. While you may reconsider purchasing this product when shopping for a wholesome juice for your child, it makes a wonderful mixer in a single serve margarita!

About the Minute Maid brand:

Minute Maid, in the 1940's, grew out of the invention of the process for dehydrating orange juice to produce a concentrate powder. This technology, created by the National Research Corporation, in Boston, Massachusetts, was then used to dehydrate and prolong the life of penicillin, blood plasma and streptomycin. The U.S. Army issued an order for 500.000 pounds of powdered orange juice for the troops and the Florida Foods Corporation was formed, later to be named The Minute Maid Company (a reference to the city of Boston's Minutemen and the convenience of preparation.) In 1960 The Minute Maid Company was purchased by The Coca-Cola Company.

Ingredients: pure filtered water, sweeteners (high fructose corn syrup, sugar), lemon juice from concentrate, less than 2% of: natural flavors, calcium citrate (calcium source), vitamin C (asorbic acid).

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    Posted by Blogpire Productions at April 26, 2006 9:28 AM


    My husband and I used to buy the Minute Maid Lemonade in the 16oz package of 8 every week. We would buy 2-3 a week due to him taking it in the semi with him. Then you discontinued that and came out with the 12 pack 12 oz bottles. However, they are very, very hard to find. In asking the managers they tell us that sometimes they can get it and sometimes they can't. Why is this? You have a good product that many people buy without going to the larger bottles. Please tell me where I can obtain your product without buying the large bottles or cans.
    Sharon Culp

    Posted by: Sharon Culp at February 10, 2007 6:39 PM

    While in Delaware, I was introduced to Minute Maid Lemonade Lite and loved mixing it with a diet peach ice tea drink that had no calories or sugar. I am back in Indianapolis, Indiana and cannot find the 'lite' brand of minute maid lemonade at any of the major super markets. Why not?

    Posted by: Jay B. Martin at April 11, 2007 10:00 PM

    Dear Sir or Madam:
    In the past we have enjoyed Minute Maid Country Style Lemonade (that is Lemonade with the pulp) but lately we have been unable to find any locally. Is it still made and if so where in Louisville, Kentucky could we find this product?
    Yours truly,
    Fred E. Coy

    Posted by: Fred Coy at May 1, 2007 7:03 PM

    Please tell me where in Rochester, New York, I can purchase Minute Maid Lemonade Lite?

    Posted by: Ellen Lebowski at May 6, 2007 5:31 PM

    I have always purchased Minute Maid frozen lemonade/ice tea. My family loves it! Lately, all the stores near to us have stopped carrying it. Can you tell me where in Abington, PA there is a store who still receives this product?

    Posted by: Kathy at July 29, 2007 8:36 AM

    We live near Marion, Indiana, where can we buy Minute Maid diet cherry limeade and raspberry?

    Our Marsh grocery use to carry it and now they do not. So please tell me where to buy it or can I purchase it on line?

    Posted by: Marjorie Keller at November 1, 2007 2:06 PM

    Dear People:

    Recently my girlfriend and I had a breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants.

    They had a yellow plastic bottle of your Minute Maid Premium Lemon Juice. It is billed as being all natural, which got my girlfriend's eye, because she tries to eat only natural foods.

    Since then we have looked and looked and cannot find it in the retail stores.

    Could you please tell me where we can purchase this in the Seattle area>



    Posted by: Michael B. Wright at November 17, 2007 9:53 AM

    I had been a long time consumer of Minute Made Lemonade light, using as much as 8 or 9 cans per day and prior to that using the large bottles.

    Several months ago, the large bottles came back on the shelves at Publix and Kroger in Roswell, Georgia and I started using that product in the bottles.

    About two or slightly more months ago, something changed in the product tste. It had an unusual odor and a completely different taste. I have stopped buying the product becasue of this change. Apparently you have changed the formula or are using something else in the mix - possibly a different sweetener.

    The result is that, while I loved the product3, I wil not longer purchase the product because of this horrible taste and odor.

    Maybe someday you will return to the original product ingredients and flavorwhich I had been using steadily for more than two years and it was my only soft drink. But until I am assured of a return to the original flavor you have lost a customer.

    Arden Moser
    Roswell, Georgia

    Posted by: Arden Moser at November 2, 2008 2:33 PM
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