Fruit flavored sodas abound. But, take one look at the ingredients and you’ll oftentimes find no juice at all. In the search for a healthier alternative to soda, there are a few great options to choose from. However, they don’t all deliver the same thing. While they’re all great ways to enjoy a flavored beverage with fewer artificial ingredients than a can of soda, how do they measure up against one another?
At Juice Squeeze, we pride ourselves on using only real fruit juice, having no added sugar, and remaining a lower calorie, delicious tasting, and thirst-quenching 12-ounce serving of carbonated yumminess. Yet, brands like IZZE and San Pellegrino have their own sparkling fruit juice beverages, so why should you choose Juice Squeeze over the others?
Though the FDA-does not provide a definition for “natural soda” or “healthier alternative to soda”, consumers may surmise that natural sodas use juice and contain no highly processed ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners like aspartame. But how much juice they contain differs from brand to brand.
IZZE The sparkling grapefruit beverage created by IZZE contains 70% fruit juice with a splash of sparkling water. Here are their ingredients.
Sparkling water, apple juice concentrate, white grape juice concentrate, clarified orange juice concentrate, clarified grapefruit juice concentrate, natural flavor, citric acid, gum arabic, red radish juice (color)
Juice Squeeze Recently re-formulated, Juice Squeeze, boasts 35% fruit juice. Ingredients include:
Sparkling water, white grape juice concentrate, pink grapefruit juice concentrate, natural flavors, citric acid, lemon juice concentrate, monk fruit juice concentrate, and vegetable juice for color.
San Pellegrino At a total of 16% fruit juice, San Pellegrino’s Pompelmo contains the least amount of juice. Their ingredients include:
Sparkling water, sugar, grapefruit juice concentrate, grapefruit extract, citric acid, natural flavors
Which Product Ranks as the Best?
For juice content, Izze contains the highest amount. If you’re looking for a highly sweet, sparkling fruit juice beverage then a high concentration of fruit juice would be perfect.
Sparkling fruit juice beverages are meant to be a healthy way to enjoy a sweetened beverage without the guilt that comes along with artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup found in most sodas. But not all sparkling drinks are created equal; some may contain added sugar even if they use juice!
IZZE This brand of sparkling fruit juice has a 12-ounce bottle that can be compared to our 12-ounce Juice Squeeze can. IZZE’s sparkling grapefruit flavor contains 31 grams of sugar from fruit juice with no added sugar, which makes it a great natural soda substitute.
Juice Squeeze Juice Squeeze’s sparkling grapefruit flavor contains 18 grams of sugar from fruit juice, with no added sugar per 12 ounce can. Its sweetness comes from a clever blend of fruit juices, including monk fruit (which we discuss below), giving you sweetness without the added calories.
San Pellegrino The quintessential foil top can might seem sophisticated, but how different is San Pellegrino’s “Sparkling Italian Drink” from regular soda? Their grapefruit flavor, aptly given the Italian language name of “Pompelmo” typically comes in an 11.15-ounce can, contains 31 grams of sugar, about half of which comes from juice and the other half from added sugar. Still a better natural alternative to sodas, but quite high in sugar and calories (140 calories per 11.15oz. can).
Which Product Ranks as the Best?
Juice Squeeze contains 18 grams of sugar from fruit juice, with no added sugar. Both IZZE and San Pellegrino contain 31 grams of total sugar but Izze gets its sugar from juice and San Pellegrino gets it from a combination of juice and sugar. If you’re trying to avoid refined sugar, then it’s best to avoid San Pellegrino’s Sparkling Italian Drink line. And if you are reducing all sugars Juice Squeeze is the best choice.
IZZE Izze is a full-flavored fruit soda. Its sweetness comes directly from fruit juice which can be both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it is a natural source of sweetness. A curse because, in the end, sugar is sugar, which translates to calories. Additionally, if you have been reducing your sugar intake, you may have noticed that your taste buds are much more sensitive to sweetness. The intensity of Izze may be overwhelming for some. However, if sweet is your thing, Izze has it in spades.
San Pellegrino San Pellegrino’s Pompelmo, though the highest in sugar, has a sophisticated tartness that cuts through some of the sweetness. Yet, with the same overall sugar content as Izze, its sweetness is intense. So, while drinking it may make you feel like you’re living the “life delioza”, its sweetness may also leave you with a post-soda sugar crash.
Juice Squeeze As consumers have revolted against sugar opting for unsweetened beverages, American tastes have changed. When we reformulated Juice Squeeze, we wanted a lighter profile that still satisfies that sweet craving but also addresses our changing tastes. Of course, we are a tad biased, but we feel we have found the perfect balance between sweet and refreshing with our 80 calorie Ruby Grapefruit Juice Squeeze.
At around 40% less sugar than Izze and San Pellegrino, how does Juice Squeeze manage to taste so great?
Monk Fruit Juice—the Super Fruit with Super Sweetness
You might recall that Juice Squeeze was the only product of the three that listed monk fruit juice as one of its ingredients. Monk fruit is our secret to sweetness without the added calories nor the increase in sugar. FoodInsight.org describes the qualities of monk fruit:
Monk fruit, also known as lo han guo or Swingle fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii), is a small round fruit native to southern China. It has been used for centuries in Eastern medicine as a cold and digestive aid, and now it is also being used to sweeten foods and beverages. Monk fruit sweeteners are created by removing the seeds and skin of the fruit, crushing the fruit, and collecting the juice. The fruit extract, or juice, contains zero calories per serving.
Monk fruit juice is our clever way of adding sweetness without guilt, while still preserving the crisp, fruity flavors of our beverages.
Monk Fruit is Safe for Adults & Children
We want to make sure everything we put in our products is safe and healthy for our customers. Monk fruit is a sweetener that has been rigorously tested by the FDA. Since 2010, the FDA has deemed monk fruit as “Generally Recognize as Safe” (GRAS). The governments of Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, and Canada all consider monk fruit to be a safe food ingredient as well, and studies have yet to observe adverse side effects from the use of monk fruit, so much so that no “acceptable daily intake” (ADI) has been established for the ingredient.
Sparkling Fruit Juice Drinks Are a Great Way to Avoid the Temptation of Soda
Avoiding soda can be a challenge if you’re the kind of person that isn’t satisfied by water alone. So sparkling fruit juice beverages are a great way to appease your sweet tooth while remaining responsible and healthy.
Just remember that not all sparkling fruit juices are the same—some contain the very same refined sugar you're trying to avoid by excluding soda from your diet. And a higher concentration of fruit juice isn't always a good thing. With juice drinks, it's best to find the happy medium between sparkling water and fruit juice, a combination that’ll satisfy your need for sweetness without adding unnecessary calories. With Juice Squeeze, we think we found that sweet spot.