Aldi and the Co-operative squeezed ahead of Tropicana in the latest Which? orange juice taste test – showing that the best tasting juice isn’t always the most expensive.
To find the best tasting chilled orange juice with bits, Which? asked 100 tasters to drink 660 shots of orange juice (nearly 50 litres in total).
Each juice was rated on its taste, texture, aroma and appearance and then given an overall score.
Four out of the eleven brands tested were awarded Best Buys:
- Aldi Del Rivo orange juice with bits (£1.29) – 73%
- The Co-operative 100% pure squeezed orange juice with bits (£1.77) – 72%
- Tropicana Pure Premium Original with juicy bits (£2.20) – 71%
- Lidl Vitafit freshly squeezed orange juice with bits (£1.29) – 71%
Juices from Waitrose, Innocent, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons and Asda were also tested.
Chosen by who?
Asda’s ‘Chosen by you’ orange juice was the worst on test and was the only juice rated poorly for taste.
Not all the tasters disliked the juice but many were put off by the ‘bitter’ and ‘sour’ taste.
The tasters’ comments ranged from ‘weird’, ‘artificial’ and ‘flowery’ to ‘horrible’, ‘nasty’ and ‘it tasted like stale plum’.
One taster complained that it made their taste buds ‘wilt’ while another said ‘it made me cringe.
You might think from Asda’s ‘Chosen by you’ branding that this juice was chosen by consumers from a number of juices.
Actually, Asda’s consumer tasters were given just one juice to taste and were then asked to rate it out of ten.
If the product scores seven or more it is ‘approved’ and can join the ‘Chosen by you’ range.
Only around 3-4% of products don’t make the grade.
In the course of testing, Which? discovered that Lidl’s ‘freshly squeezed’ orange juice doesn’t meet the government’s best practice guidelines on labelling.
It has a much longer shelf life than the two weeks recommended by Defra for all juices labelled ‘freshly squeezed’.
The government’s guidelines on using terms like ‘freshly squeezed’ are designed to benefit consumers by encouraging consistent, transparent labelling so you can compare like-for-like.
When Which? contacted Lidl about this issue, it said the labelling had been legally approved by its independent food label check consultant.
However, it added: ‘We have taken your comments on board and our buying team will conduct a review of the current labelling’.
Juice always on offer
Which? has found that chilled juice is on special offer so often that many people now only consider it to be good value if they are getting it at a reduced price.
According to MySupermarket.co.uk, 43% of chilled juices on sale were on special offer at least once in the 12 months to June 2011.
Only nappies, World Cup merchandise and vitamins and supplements had a higher proportion of products on offer during this time.
When Which? asked 1,302 members about orange juice special offers (Which? Connect survey May 2011), 36% said they don’t think chilled orange juice is good value unless it’s on special offer.
And 58% said they will buy a different brand to their usual if it is on offer and of similar quality.
If you want to make your own fresh juice, all you need to make is an old-fashioned citrus squeezer. But if you want to save time, check out our Best Buy juicers.
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