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Crystal Light Classic Orange Sugar Free Drink Mix Review

Updated Review Date: 06/02/2017
Original Review Date: 02/15/2012


         For citrus lovers, sugar free Crystal Light Classic Orange contains 100% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and 10% of your daily calcium. It has just 5 calories per serving and there's no caffeine, sodium or carbohydrates. Considering those features, it's an attractive alternative for diabetics or anyone watching their sugar intake but still wants a real-tasting orange drink with benefits.
         Crystal Light Classic Orange Sugar Free Drink Mix is currently available in 10-quart canisters and 10 or 30 count boxes of individual On The Go packets. The canister packs contain 5 individual pitcher packs of drink mix, each of which makes 2-quarts, and the "On The Go" packets will flavor one 16 to 20oz. bottle or cup of water. All sizes can be found at Amazon if not available at your local grocery store (this can actually be a hard flavor to find in stores).
         Now let's move on to the review...

Nutrition Information for Crystal Light Classic Orange Sugar Free Drink Mix

Per 0.125 packet of powdered mix (canisters) or 1/2 packet (On The Go packets), Crystal Light Classic Orange contains:

Calories: 5
Sodium: 0mg
Sugars: 0g
Carbohydrates: 0g
Total Fat: 0g
Vitamin C: 100%
Calcium: 10%

Ingredients of Crystal Light Classic Orange Sugar Free Drink Mix

Citric Acid, Calcium Phosphate, Maltodextrin, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Aspartame (Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine), Maltitol, Contains Less than 2% of Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Oxide, Acesulfame Potassium, Xanthan and Cellulose Gums, Soy Lecithin, Artificial Color, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 5, Red 40.
Note: This powdered formulation does not contain sodium benzoate.

The Scorecard for Crystal Light Classic Orange Sugar Free Drink Mix

Here's how Crystal Light Classic Orange scores according to the four point rating system:

Taste: Very Good. No aftertaste from the aspartame and acesulfame potassium combination. I was expecting to taste something a bit like TANG orange drink mix, which isn't that bad in its own right, but I was wrong and quite surprised at the same time. It tastes and looks a lot like orange juice but without as much bite. It actually would make a suitable morning time drink to go with breakfast. For taste it gets an easy top score. (+1)

Packaging Waste: The exterior cardboard box for the On The Go packets and the #5 outside plastic canister for the 12-quart canister packs are fully recyclable. However, the interior packaging which holds the powdered mix for both the canisters and On The Go packets is composed of foil-plastic packets without a recycling number, and these type of wrappers aren't always recyclable in your area. (+.5)

Value: The On The Go packs score just fine in the value department since they're in the same price range as other competing 10 packet 'On The Go' drink mix products. In contrast, the canisters for this particular flavor of sugar free Crystal Light are not that value-oriented since there are only five, 2-quart packets per canister and almost all other products I've seen in the same price range and category have 12 quarts per canister pack. (+.75 for the canisters, +1 for the On The Go packets)

Health Factor: I have two minor issue with Sunrise Classic Orange but they're cancelled out to a degree by the overall benefits of the drink. One issue is the use of aspartame, which effectively bars anyone with Phenylketonuria (PKU) from drinking it (-.25). Other sweeteners could be used in place of the aspartame. The second issue is the fact that it takes 3 colorings to produce the orange appearance. When there are more than 2 colorings in a product there is a .25 point deduction, as fewer chemicals in a drink product is always a good attribute. The .25 point deduction for that is negated though, since it's naturally flavored and has 100% of the USRDA for vitamin C and 10% of the USRDA of calcium. Add the other benefits too, such as no sugar, sodium or carbs and it works to be a decent score. (+.75)

Overall Rating: Crystal Light Classic Orange scores 3 out of 4 on the canisters and 3.25 out of 4 for the On The Go packets. Given the great taste and added nutrition it's a product worth trying despite its shortcomings.



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