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Best supermarket orange juice revealed in blind taste test

M&S and Aldi juices impressed our tasters more than Innocent and Tropicana versions

Some own-label orange juice is tastier than branded versions - and saves you money, according to our latest taste test.

We asked a panel of consumers to rate Copella, Innocent and Tropicana smooth orange juice alongside supermarket juices from Aldi, Co-op, Waitrose and more in a blind taste test.

M&S outshone the competition, coming top with 77% and the only Best Buy, while Aldi's close second is the best cheap orange juice.

Read on to find out more on which big brand orange juice was rated best, and how all the supermarket versions compare.

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Best orange juice

Best Buy: M&S Squeezed Smooth Orange Juice - 77%

£1.50 for 1 litre (15p per 100ml)

Scoring 77%, M&S was rated the best overall, pipping rivals to the post on taste, thoughit alsoreceived high marks for texture, aroma and appearance, too.

Around half of tasters also said it was spot on for both sweetness (51%) and sharpness (44%), and had a strength of flavour that was appealing (46%).

Available to buy from M&S and Ocado.

Great Value: Aldi The Juice Company Smooth Orange Juice - 74%

£1.65 for 1.75 litres (9p per 100ml)

Aldi's offering came joint second with three other juices (Copella, Sainsburys and Morrisons), but is the cheapest of the bunch.

Compare that to the priciest option on test, Innocent, which is 27p per 100ml - three times the price of Aldi's OJ.

If you get through your carton in no time at all, and are looking to cut costs, this is a great budget buy that still hits the spot taste-wise.

Available to buy from Aldi.

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Other good orange juices: Copella, Sainsbury's and Morrisons

Copella, Sainsbury's and Morrisons all scored the same as Aldi, putting them just behind top brand M&S, so you shouldn't have to travel far to get great juice for less.

Considering the similar scores, it's worth trying the supermarket options where possible, as they tend to be cheaper (though branded versions are sometimes on offer).

Copella Smooth Orange Juice - 74%

£2.70 for 1.35 litres (20p per 100ml)

This was the strongest performing brand tested, tying with Aldi, Sainsbury's and Morrisons for second place.

Although around a quarter (27%) of the panel found it a bit sharp, it was consistently good when it came to appearance, aroma, taste and texture.

Available from Sainsbury's.

Morrisons 100% Smooth Orange Fruit Juice - 74%

£1.85 for 1.5 litres (12p per 100ml)

This own-brand was a popular runner-up with tasters.

They were impressed by the drink's appearance, taste, texture and aroma, making this a good non-branded option. It's reasonably priced, at 12p per 100ml, which is almost half the price of its second-place rival Copella.

Available from Morrisons.

Sainsbury's 100% Pure Squeezed Smooth Orange Juice - 74%

£2 for 1.75 litres (12p per 100ml)

Another own-brand that got the thumbs-up from our panel was this Sainsbury's juice.

Like Copella and Morrisons, it scored well across the board, although - like the Morrisons juice - around a third (28%) found it a bit sharp.

However, it was well liked overall and would definitely be worth trying to see if it suited your palette, especially at a very reasonable 12p per 100ml.

Available from Sainsbury's.

Want to make your own juice at home? Take a look at our Which? Best Buy juicers

Innocent and Tropicana vs supermarket orange juice

While no orange juice was rated poorly, big-brand versions didn't outshine their supermarket rivals. Tropicana tied in third place with Waitrose orange juice, while Innocent brought up the rear.

Here's how the rest of the products were rated:

  • Waitrose Smooth Orange Juice - 73%. This was a good all-rounder, but 39% of testers said it tasted too sharp. £2 for 1.75 litres (14p per 100ml) Available from Waitrose.
  • Tropicana Smooth Orange Juice - 73%. Our panel liked Tropicana although it didn't score as well as M&S on taste. £4 for 1.75 litres (23p per 100ml) Available from Asda, Ocado, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.
  • Lidl Naturis Pure Squeezed Orange Juice Smooth - 71%. It may be as cheap as its Aldi competitor, but Lidl's orange juice went down less well with our tasters, with 42% saying it was too sharp. 89p for 1 litre (9p per 100ml) Available from Lidl.
  • Co-op Smooth Orange Juice - 71%. Our tasters didn't rate the flavour of this juice as highly as some, and 31% thought it was too dark in colour. £1.70 for 1 litre (17p per 100ml) Available from Co-op (in-store only).
  • Tesco 100% Pure Squeezed Orange Juice Smooth - 69%. Around one third of our testers said this juice didn't have a strong enough orange flavour, and that it wasn't sweet or sharp enough. £2 for 1.75 litres (12p per 100ml) Available from Tesco.
  • Asda Smooth Orange Juice - 69%. The pale colour of this juice was off-putting. £1.15 for 1 litre (12p per 100ml). Available from Asda.
  • Innocent Orange Juice Smooth - 69%. Another juice our tasters thought was too light in colour, while just over a quarter (27%) said it was too weak. £3.60 for 1.35 litres (27p per 100ml). Available from Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose.

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Is orange juice healthy?

'Orange juice is a good source of vitamin C. However, juicing releases the sugars from the fruit, resulting in 'free sugars', which are damaging to your teeth.' says our nutrition expert, Shefalee Loth.

'Juice also won't contain as much fibre as the whole fruit, so it doesn't fill you up in the same way. This is why only one 150ml glass of juice can count towards one portion of your five-a-day, regardless of how much you drink.'

In short, there are benefits to drinking orange juice, but in moderation. Remember that it's easier to down juice than it is to work your way through a bowl of oranges, so keep an eye on your portion sizes (a 150ml glass is smaller than you think it is), and ideally drink it with meals to minimise the impact on your teeth.

Freshly squeezed juice tends to contain the most vitamin C. It's a water-soluble nutrient so degrades over time, which is why long-life orange juices tend to have lower amounts than chilled or fresh options.

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Fresh vs chilled vs long-life orange juice: is it worth paying more?

In August 2021, we asked a panel of 101 people to blind-taste and rate cheap long-life orange juice alongside chilled and freshly squeezed options from Tesco to see which they preferred.

The result? Despite costing more than double the price of long-life juice, the premium freshly squeezed juice didn't hit the spot, with most tasters preferring the chilled and long-life options.

All things considered, chilled (like the products tested above) is a good middle option.

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Can you recycle orange juice cartons?

Recycle Now, the national recycling campaign for England, says that cartons are a 'composite packaging material' made from about 75% paper, 20% plastic (polyethylene) and 5% aluminium foil (in the case of long-life products), and it is possible to recycle them.

They can be put out for your local recycling collection or taken to a public recycling facility.

Remember to rinse empty cartons and to replace the lid because on their own they are too small to make it through most recycling sorting machines.

Always check with your local authority though, as rules can differ by area.

Recycling plastic fruit juice bottles

These can also be popped in your recycling. Just give them a quick rinse and empty first.

Before recycling, ensure you replace lids and tops, leave the labels on (they'll be removed in the recycling process) and squash the bottles to save space for when they are transported.

Our guide to recycling in the UK: what can and can't be recycled, and how

How we tested orange juice

We tested leading brands of smooth chilled orange juice alongside standard range supermarket own-label orange juices in December 2021.

Each orange juice was assessed by 64 people. They rated the taste, texture, aroma and appearance of each juice and told us what they liked and disliked about each one.

The taste test was conducted blind, so our tasters didn't know which brand they were trying, and the order they sampled the orange juices in was fully rotated to avoid any bias.

*Prices correct as of 1 March 2022.