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Taste Testings: Consumer Product Reviews

Food in Canada's consumer review panel samples two new juices from Happy Planet: Organic Acai Berry Bliss and Pomegranate Anti-ox Fruit Smoothie


Food in Canada‘s consumer review panel samples select new products in the Canadian marketplace. This time we’re tasting two new juices from Happy Planet: Organic Acai Berry Bliss and Pomegranate Anti-ox Fruit Smoothie.

Vancouver, B.C.-based Happy Planet has launched two new healthy superfruit beverages for 2011. The first is Organic Acai Berry Bliss, a 100-per-cent juice and purée blend using only certified organic and kosher ingredients, with no sugar, preservatives, artificial ingredients, colours or flavours. The antioxidant-rich acai juice is available in a 1.89-L carton, and sells for a suggested retail price of $4.99. Pomegranate Anti-ox Fruit Smoothie features Happy Planet’s proprietary “Berry Boost” blend of wild blueberry, strawberry, cranberry, bilberry, elderberry and raspberry seed extracts. It also contains the equivalent of one large pomegranate, a rich source of polyphenols. The 325-mL bottle retails for a suggested price of $2.99.

Female, 30-something, teacher
Organic Acai Berry Bliss. “What a great package: the fruit on the carton looks luscious and fresh, as if the company didn’t skimp on the ingredients it used here. The colours are eye-catching and bright. As for the juice, talk about antioxidant powerhouse – you’ve got three big ones here. It makes me feel like I have to drink this – it must be so good for me. It smells fruity and sweet. And there’s no sugar added. That’s a big plus as well. I was a little disappointed to see the acai berry way down the ingredient list. But the juice is refreshing and tasty. I’d buy this.”

Female, 11
Organic Acai Berry Bliss. “It was ok. It wasn’t the best juice ever. I thought it would taste like blueberries, but it didn’t. It tasted kind of like blackberries.”

Male, 40-something, editor
Pomegranate Anti-ox Fruit Smoothie; Organic Acia Berry Bliss. “The new 1.89-L cartons of Happy Planet Organic juice and purée blends are one of those rare treats that exceed expectations on more than one sensory level. While some organic products go out of the way to make their packing look as plain and drab as possible, the highly decorative, high-graphics gabletop cartons from Vancouver-based Happy Planet Foods, Inc. are a consumer-friendly packaging delight – crowned with rich-green, snug-fitting screw-tops that make them virtually portable as well as leakproof, within reason. As for the sensational taste – at least insofar as the Acia Berry Bliss enjoyed in this corner – it makes one wonder how some things can taste so sweet with ‘No Sugar Added,’ as per the cute leaf-shaped disclaimer on the back panel. As for a promise of an Antioxidant boost, set against a luscious backdrop of fresh loose berries, well why not?! Much thinner in consistency and texture than the so-called ‘smoothie’ drinks and shakes, with hardly any seed remnants, the seductively dark-blue liquid just seems to brim with healthy aroma and promise of a distinctly new taste sensation – and it does not disappoint in the slightest!”

Female, 20-something, art director
Pomegranate Anti-ox Fruit Smoothie. “Very fruity! You can really smell the bananas in it. It was refreshing and sweet. There was no aftertaste, which was nice. Healthy ingredients, would be good on ice.”

Female, 40-something, sales
Organic Acai Berry Bliss. “This juice was just what I needed! Lovely smooth flavour, sweet without any tartness – really delicious. It really was very healthy tasting too. I’d feel good about serving this to my family, although the price is quite steep.”

Female, 38, IT specialist
Pomegranate Anti-ox Fruit Smoothie. “This was tasty, but very sweet, so the small bottle was the perfect size for me. I liked that there was only 170 calories and no sugar added or other artificial ingredients. I was feeling a little run down when I drank this, so it did feel like I was giving my immune system a healthy boost.”

Female, 20-something, art director
Organic Acai Berry Bliss. “Really low in sugar (16 g) but still sweet tasting. The apple juice in it is a bit overpowering. This would be great for kids and during flu season as its 100% vitamin C.”