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Ocean Spray Sugar Free Drink Mixes Review (All Flavors)

Updated Review Date: 06/01/2017
Original Review Date: 05/14/2011

Ocean Spray Sugar Free Drink Mixes

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         ***UPDATE: Unfortunately Ocean Spray has discontinued their line of powdered drink mixes, but the review will remain as a placeholder just in case they release some new sugar free drink mix products in the future. Quality alternatives include various pre-mixed Ocean Spray Diet Cranberry and Cranberry-Based Juices available at Amazon, some of which cannot be found in grocery stores.***
         Although Ocean Spray has been synonymous with cranberry juice and sauce for decades, the company does offer other products; namely a noteworthy lineup of sugar free powdered drink mixes and those are what we'll be looking at today. There are currently eight flavors available which include: Cran-Cherry, Cran-Cherry Limeade, White Cran-Peach, Cran-Pomegranate, Cran-Lemonade, Cran-Grape, Blueberry Pomegranate and Blueberry Lemonade. All of these flavors are low in sodium, carb free, caffeine free and have 100% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.
         Packaging choices are on par with competing products and all flavors are available in boxes of 10 On The Go packets (each packet flavors one 16.9 oz. bottle of water). I've also seen availability of 12 quart canisters (6 individual 2-quart packs) even though the Ocean Spray website currently doesn't mention the canisters at all.
         With the summary covered, let's move on the details.

Nutrition Information For All Ocean Spray Sugar Free Drink Mixes

The nutrition information for all Ocean Spray sugar free powdered drink mixes is largely the same with the exception of sodium and potassium which differs slightly between a few flavors. These differences are mostly insignificant from a dietary perspective but here's the sodium breakdown per 8 oz. serving in case it is relevant to you: White Cran-Peach has 50mg, Cran-Grape and Cran- Cherry Limeade have 30mg and all other flavors have just 10mg. Below is the summarized nutrition information per 1.5g serving of powdered mix, or 8 oz. mixed:

Calories: 5
Sodium: 10 - 50 mg (1% - 4% USRDA)
Potassium: 5 - 20mg (1% or less of USRDA)
Sugars: 0g
Carbohydrates: 0g
Total Fat: 0g
Vitamin C: 100% USRDA

Ingredients For All Ocean Spray Sugar Free Drink Mixes

Like the nutrition information, the ingredients between flavors are mostly the same except where noted:

Citric Acid, Maltodextrin, Malic Acid (excluding Blueberry Pomegranate), Natural and Artificial Flavors, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Aspartame (Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine), Sodium Citrate, Potassium Citrate, Contains Less than 2% of: Acesulfame Potassium, Calcium Silicate, Calcium Phosphate (exclusively in Blueberry Lemonade), Magnesium Oxide Note 1: Various food colorings depending on product (Red 40, Yellow 6 or Blue 1, etc.).

The Scorecard for All Ocean Spray Sugar Free Powdered Drink Mixes

With our standard rating system of 4 total points, Ocean Spray sugar free powdered drink mixes score as follows:

Taste: Overall the eight different flavors are satisfying and there weren't any sweetener aftertastes for the two taste testers or me. You do get that slight bite of cranberries you'd expect in the cran-based flavors, while the Blueberry Pomegranate flavor carries much less of bite. The only other Blueberry flavor offered, Blueberry Lemonade, is expectedly tart but still sweet while having an accurate flavor. I did have trouble tasting the distinct difference between Cran-Pomegranate and Cran-Grape on multiple occasions as did one other taste tester, but this may or may not be the case for you. Also, the Cran-Grape seems to have a sulfur-like odor when the package is first opened but it dissipates quickly and isn't present in the flavor when mixed. With everything considered, there's nothing substantial enough to prevent all the Ocean Spray sugar free drink mixes from achieving a top score on taste. (+1)

Packaging Waste: The overall packaging for the canisters and On The Go packets is minimal and the exterior packaging is fully recyclable. However, the interior foil-plastic packages that hold the actual mix in both the canisters and the On The Go packets might not be recyclable in your area, as unnumbered plastic wrapper recycling is not yet widespread like the #5 canister recycling is. (+.5)

Value: All Ocean Spray powdered drink mixes are competitively priced against other similar products and you get at least the industry standard amounts per container (10 packets per On The Go box and 12 Quarts per canister). No problems in the value category. (+1)

Health Factor: The ingredients used in the various mixes are commonly found in powdered drink mixes and there are no surprises here. No ingredients stand out as particularly unhealthy but all flavors do use aspartame, which can be a problem for certain individuals. If you have PKU (Phenylketonuria) then all Ocean Spray powdered drink mixes should be avoided due to the use of aspartame as the primary sweetener. Since there are other sweeteners available which don't affect people with PKU and have a similar cost to implement, there's a deduction of .25 of a point. (+.75)

Overall Rating: 3.25 out of 4. Not too bad, and if you decide to try these mixes make sure to put the White-Cran Peach and the Blueberry Lemonade flavors on your list.

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