Kiwi kids are legendary for getting amongst it and having fun. We reckon nothing should in the way of letting them be themselves. Introducing Vitafresh Tropical Blend. Made just for kids it s low in sugar - 98% sugar free.
We've cut out the stuff parents don't want their kids to have, like yucky artificial colours and preservatives. With Vitafresh nothing artificial is allowed in, you just get natural sweetness from Stevia, real favour from real fruit and a delicious taste - everything you need in a fruit drink to keep kids and parents happy.
Water, Reconstituted Fruit Juices (Orange (19%), Mango (4%) Passionfruit (1%)), Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid), Natural Flavours, Natural Sweetener (Stevia).
May contain traces of Egg and Milk. Suitable for vegetarians.
I was a little unsure of how this juice would go when it arrived in my review pack. Reading that it only 24% of reconstituted fruit juices, that water was the main ingredient and that it had been sweetened with stevia I didn't hold out much hope for it having good flavour.
I am very keen on using stevia as a natural sweetener in items and often use it in items I make at home but I do know that having it in some already known and prepared products it can often make them taste completely different and a lot of people don't seem to enjoy it. Sugar has definitely been in the spot light lately and I am all for giving stevia a go! Sometimes it's just a balancing act on how much to use.
Upon opening the juice there was a bit of a fruity smell, but knowing just how much water was in there it certainly wasn't strong and I wasn't surprised! Being for kids I knew it wouldn't have a strong flavour. I poured a glass for both my hubby and I and sat down to enjoy it. Upon the first sip we both looked each other and made a funny face. We were both a little unsure of the taste. I do think for me though it was just quite different - juices are usually very very sweet and usually strong on flavour and this was not. However I soon found myself sipping through the rest of the glass until it was gone. My hubby however has taken a bit longer to get through it and about half an hour later still has more to go!
In the end it certainly wasn't what I usually like when picking a juice. Tropical juices are usually my favourite because of the many different fruit flavours you can taste. This juice however tasted more like watered down powdered juice and didn't taste like there was any fruit at all. But it wasn't undrinkable. I am often the sober driver and having more low/no sugar options of things I can drink is something that is important to me. I might not buy it frequently, but there is a place for it and it may be something I buy when looking for something different.
We really love juice in our house. We have a 3 year old who gets the occasional juice but it is heavily watered down. I was looking forward to trying the vitafresh tropical especially as it had a lower sugar content compared to other drinks. I thought I would give Miss 3 a taste test first as she was itching to get into the bottle the minute I placed it on the bench. I poured a small amount into her glass and she screwed up her face, handed it back to me and said "I don't like it Mum". I thought this was strange so tried it myself.
It had a really nice smell to it, almost a refreshing smell so I had high expectations for this juice. I must say, I felt quite let down. To me, the taste was not appealing. It tasted like a really really watered down sachet drink. I thought perhaps maybe I needed to give the bottle a decent shake to mix it up. I placed the lid back on, gave it a shake and poured myself another juice, but this didn't make a difference.
I'm unsure if replacing the sugar with stevia was a good idea. Yes it has a "lower" sugar content but I think by doing this, it has given it an "interesting" flavour. In my opinion this is a drink I probably wouldn't buy again. Only purely for the fact the flavour is not something that I enjoyed. Perhaps maybe I might enjoy another flavour from the same range, I am really unsure.
The kids are very used to drinking "kids" juices and watered down drinks, so I knew that this would be something that they would be keen to try out, and sure enough, as soon as they saw the bottle they were keen to give it a try. The kids and I are all keen on any drinks that are tropical flavoured and so off the kids rushed to get some cups so that we could all partake in trying it out. 98% sugar free is always a good look (though I always keep an eye out that they didn't substitute with something else) and this has Stevia in it for the sweetness.
I'm not a fan of Stevia, I just don't like the taste of it, in this drink it wasn't too bad at all however I still found this to be a drink very weak in flavour. My mum and I had both half a glass, and to quote my mum she found "the flavour to be rather insipid" and I agree, however when it came to the kids they finished their cups and asked for more. All three of my kids have said that its really yummy and they would love to try other flavours of these drinks.
I really, really struggled to find something I liked about this flavour. While the 'diluted' nature of the range wasn't too bad with the other two, it was highlighted in this flavour for me. I actually found very little to enjoy, and ended up leaving it for my youngest to drink... because he'll drink almost anything and I couldn't bear the thought of wasting it.
Rocking in as little more than coloured water to me, I decided instead to focus on what my youngest - far more the target market - had to say, and allow him some lee-way as to how he consumed it. He said that it was "OK but nothing with much wow", and he enjoyed it more when I used a mould to turn it into ice-blocks instead. That gave it '...a bit more niceness...' as he put it, and at least gave me the satisfaction of doing something with it that made it appealing.
What really surprised me was how much of a turn-around it was against expectations. I fully expected something with the name 'tropical' to have had more flavour that one of the plainer juices, and I am at a loss to explain how having more juices rendered it less flavoursome.
Overall, while a far healthier juice, and one that my youngest was OK drinking, it generated no real desire to buy it again, and my lad has asked that if I buy more juice for him, that I buy one of the other variants instead. Still far from horrible, it was none the less a surprising anticlimax for us both.
Before taking this bottle to a family party as planned, I opened it and poured a small glassful to check it out. On first tasting it, I thought it was a little bland, but there again, it was clearly labelled as being a drink that was designed for kids and contained no additives - which, of course, would normally include sugar and/or chemical flavour enhancers. I did try a couple of experiments, however, as I felt it would be great for the adult palate if I could find the x-factor. So I poured two more small (150 ml) drinks; to one I added a couple of slices of fresh lime, and to the other I added half a teaspoon of chopped ginger. I then left both drinks to absorb the added flavours for a few minutes. Success on both counts! The flavour was enhanced and I found I really enjoyed both variations.
There was still a large amount left, but my intention was to test it out on the large group of people that would be at the party later in the day. The bottle held 2.7 litres so I certainly knew I would need help to sample it! There would be people of all ages, so this would be a chance to pass it by a range of testers. I was certainly interested in the results. Whether or not my tasters enjoyed it seemed to be directly related to their ages.
Miss Four declared that she loved it, assuring me that it tasted like real orange juice (which was correct - the main fruit ingredient is orange); and, having drained her glass, she asked for some more. She then demanded to know if I would be taking it away with me or leaving it at her house as she might want some more later! I assured her that it would not be leaving the house again.
Mr Six said it was nice but he thought it had been watered down too much. He suggested that upping the juice content might be good. Mr 11 found it a little watery and, like Mr Six, suggested that some extra juice might be a good idea. As for Mr Eight, he too enjoyed it and said he could definitely taste the orange.
The adult responses were a little different. One of the adults did not like it at all; she thought it had very little flavour, and she did not like the aftertaste that the stevia left in her mouth. She also commented that the total juice content came to just under a quarter of the whole, and making the product more concentrated might be the way to go. Another of the adults loved it and commented on the fact that it was not too sweet. She would buy it again as she does not like the extreme sweetness of many other fruit drinks available to buy. All the adults agreed, however, that it would be a sensible choice to buy for children when they are travelling or eating out; it would make a festive change from the bottled water usually available to them at restaurants, and would certainly be preferable to a drink laced with large amounts of sugar.
I think the key is that the manufacturers are offering a healthier alternative to parents who want to steer their children away from the junk food cycle. It is great to know that a child can enjoy a "party" drink and not then suffer from the dreaded sugar high. There is a certain amount of fructose in the product, of course; fruit is naturally sweet! But at the same time, the amount in this bottle is minimal. I would buy it again, particularly for a children's party when it is nice to have a "proper" drink. And I will drink it myself now that I know about the ginger and the lime.
There always seems to be so much negative publicity around these days in regards to giving children juice as a drink, that I tend to only let Miss 3 have it on special occasions or when we go out although it is something she rather likes the taste of. Having allergies to the more expensive fruit juices that contain pulp and very citrusy it's hard to find one she can drink that isn't packed full of spoonfuls of sugar. I was excited to see the Vitafresh Tropical Burst Fruit Drink come up for review as I thought this sounded like a very suitable Miss 3 friendly type of juice, and also containing no sugar I thought it may be ideal for my partner and I who are trying to be a little bit healthier.
The first thing I noticed about this juice is how it is really targeted towards children, and parents of children with the funky, colourful font on the bottle and also the picture of the child. The bottle is of a good size, and I loved that it is 98% sugar free, and also free of artificial colours and preservatives. Being a clear bottle you can see exactly what you are buying, always a bonus.
Miss 3 was super excited to see 'her juice' when we arrived home with it and was more than happy to sit down with her cupful, from the first sip she declared "mmmmm this is just my favourite one" big thumbs up from her, I poured a cupful each for both my partner and I and we both thought it was quite tart, obviously due to it not containing any sugar, though I did see that the juice contains monk fruit so thought perhaps this may have had something to do with this? For the health factor we thought it was worth the tartness and we both felt comfortable offering it to Miss 3 and agreed we would happily drink it ourselves if we were after something other than water. The orange taste was most evident, and perhaps a touch of passionfruit, the mango not so much, as for the monk fruit It's not something I've tried before so can't comment on that one.
I thought perhaps the bottle size was a bit big for our household, as I'm not sure we'd get through it all in the recommended 5 day consumption time, and so id love to see it available in perhaps a 1litre bottle. With this factor in mind I have been adding this to my fruit smoothies in the mornings and find it goes well when blended, I have also used it to make healthy fruit jellies by simply pouring 1 cup of juice into the bowl, which I then sprinkled with 1/2 tablespoon of gelatin, I boiled 1 other cup of juice and then poured it over the gelatin and mixed it together until dissolved. Poured this into a baking pan and left to set in the fridge. I was worried that with the low sugar content that the jelly may not set however it set perfectly and Miss 3 has been enjoying the jelly for dessert. This would also go well as ice blocks, though it's not something I have experimented with due to the current cooler weather.
A great healthy juice alternative especially for children, I'm sure this is something I'll be buying again especially for serving up at birthday parties.
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