Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tropicana OJ from concentrate is no bargain

Orange juice.Image via Wikipedia
Can you taste the difference between fresh and concentrate?

My 14-year-old son drinks Tropicana "pure premium" orange juice like it's water, choosing it for breakfast and dinner over all the other juices we have around.

He won't listen to me when I tell him to have a few ounces to start the day as I do -- and drink something else with food -- so I thought I'd slip him a glass of Tropicana from concentrate at breakfast.

Costco Wholesale carries both types of Tropicana. Two 96-ounce bottles of the 100% orange juice made from concentrate, with "other natural flavors," are $7.99.

On Tuesday, he looked up from his breakfast and said the orange juice tasted "funny."

I didn't try to keep up the charade, and told him it was concentrate. He refused to drink the rest of the cup.

After he left for school, I took out the calculator. It turns out Tropicana from concentrate doesn't really save you a lot of money, when compared to pure Tropicana from Costco.

The price for four, 64-ounce cartons of Tropicana was $10.99 for a long time, but the quartet I bought today at Costco in Hackensack showed a price increase, to $11.39. (Supermarkets sell Tropicana in 59-ounce cartons.)

That works out to 0.44 cents an ounce.

The Tropicana from concentrate works out to 0.41 cents per ounce.

Now, the big question is whether I'm going to drink all that concentrate or take it back for a refund.

I tried the concentrate. It does taste different than fresh. But not in an unpleasant way.


  1. It's less sweet. There is nothing fresh about any packaged orange juice as all pasteurized juice sits in tanks for a year and are freshened up by food packs that aren't listed on the ingredients list because they are chemicals derived from orange peels, so technically oranges cover the labeling requirements.

  2. Thanks. So, we should just buy oranges and squeeze it ourselves.

    I did take the concentrate back and got a refund, explaining my son simply refused to drink it.

    And I've been buying Tropicana in the 64-ounce cartons ever since.

  3. Pasteurized tropicana orange juice from Costco (no pulp, extra vitamin D) seems to taste different, more like OJ from concentrate. Is it just me?

    1. Maybe it is the added Vitamin D. Same problem with taste when buying OJ with added calcium.

  4. In other words, stick with the pure product.


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