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Feeling bogged down and listless? You might be tempted to reach for Ocean Spray’s new line of “energy drinks” called Cranergy. They’ve been heavily hyped in funny TV ads as cranberry juice infused with natural energizing vitamins!
So, why are Ocean Spray’s cranberries suddenly more energizing than before? Are they magic cranberries? Apparently the newfound energy comes from “added vitamin B, a natural energizer; vitamin C, an immune booster; and green tea extract for extra antioxidants.”
Hmm, we smell a tired old marketing bait and switch ploy!
Ocean Spray Cranergy Energy Juice Drink
(50 calories, 13g sugar, 150% RDA Vit C, 150% RDA Vit B2, Vit B6, Vit B12)
INGREDIENTS: FILTERED WATER, GRAPE JUICE FROM CONCENTRATE, CRANBERRY JUICE FROM CONCENTRATE, NATURAL FLAVORS, CITRIC ACID, FUMARIC ACID, GREEN TEA EXTRACT, SODIUM CITRATE, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), PECTIN, SUCRALOSE (SPLENDA BRAND), MALTODEXTRIN, NIACIN, BLUE 1 & RED 40 (COLOR), PANTOTHENIC ACID, VITAMIN B6, VITAMIN B2, VITAMIN B12
Decoding the Fine Print
When we looked beyond the hype and analyzed the actual ingredients, we quickly determined that if we downed one of these so called “energy drinks” the only thing we’d be energizing is Ocean Spray’s bank account!
In fact, Cranergy is not really what it claims to be. Ocean Spray’s marketing ploy is so sneaky that this beverage has earned the eBrandAid Bamboozler Award – our worst of the worst of the Healthy Food Imposters! In order to be eligible for this infamous award, a product must meet very specific criteria… criteria which Cranergy not only met, but exceeded in several categories! Take a look:
Criteria #1: Extremely misleading information on the front label
Cranergy’s front label claims the beverage is a “juice drink.” However, when we looked at the nutrition facts label we see that there’s only 20% juice! Plus Cranergy is a misnomer since the first two ingredients are water and grape juice concentrate — where’s the cranberry juice?
Criteria #2: Three or more harmful junk ingredients
Cranergy is made with Splenda, an artificial sweetener. Yuck! The list continues with fumaric acid (a colorless crystalline compound that adds a fruit-like taste to products), and BLUE 1 and RED 40 artificial colorings. Can we have more juice and less junk, please?
Criteria #3: Deceptive health claims (blatant or implied)
Ocean Spray brags that this drink has “natural energizers including five B-vitamins which support healthy energy production.” Here’s a newsflash: Most people aren’t deficient in B vitamins, because they’re easily gained from a variety of foods. And, for those that are deficient, your body doesn’t use the man-made sources of vitamins as readily as natural sources that you get from real food. In fact, once a certain amount of this stuff is absorbed, the body gets rid of the rest!
Criteria #4: A high shock value… a.k.a OMG!
Once we peeled away Cranergy’s deceptive label we found this beverage to be nothing more than Ocean Spray’s best-selling cranberry beverage watered down with juice fillers, artificial sweeteners and colors, and a bunch of added vitamins – all for the hefty price of a $3.99 for a 4-pack of 12-oz. bottles. The only thing we had the energy to shout was OMG!
Sorry, but we refuse to be bamboozled. Nice try Ocean Spray.
If you’re feeling bogged down by Ocean Spray’s deceptive marketing ploy and need a real energy boost, try getting it the old-fashioned way – from wholegrain cereals, dairy products and fruits and veggies. They’re real foods that are naturally good sources of B vitamins.
Here’s a Brand Doctor favorite that’s a nutritious jolt of energy without any funky chemical additives:
A steaming hot bowl of slow-cooked oatmeal that’s made with skim milk and topped with a sliced banana, and a glass of Ocean Spray’s 100% unsweetened cranberry juice!
Remember, when you’re armed with a little eBrandAid know-how, you’re in control at the grocery store.