‘Squeezies’ pack no substitute for fresh fruit

03/08/2013 09:49:00 AM
Amelia Freidline

It was good, although I couldn’t taste any of the carrot the ingredient list promised — instead it tasted like blueberry-flavored applesauce.

Carrot puree and purple carrot juice concentrate were the third and fourth ingredients after apple and blueberry purees, so I suspect the smoothie contained far more apple than carrot.

The GoGo squeeZ applesauce was a little tart, since it only contained apples and apple juice concentrate, but I appreciated that it wasn’t sickly sweet like some applesauce can be.

OK, so these products taste all right. Are shelf-stable pouches a credible threat to fresh produce?

My guess is not anytime soon, unless we all become astronauts.

Cost-benefit analysis

Though maybe convenient in terms of time, these products don’t make sense dollar-wise as a replacement for produce. Four 3-ounce pouches of applesauce cost me about $2.50, or 82 cents each.

My local grocery store had fuji and jonagold apples on ad for $1.49 per pound. According to The Packer’s Produce Availability and Merchandising Guide, about three medium apples equals a pound.

That comes out to 49 cents an apple, so I could buy six apples for the same amount I paid for the applesauce.

If I ate four pouches of applesauce a week, as a consumer in the Journal article did, I would spend $7.50 for three weeks’ worth, while I would spend only $5 for 12 apples.

Are consumers willing to spend more money in the long run for the appearance of convenience?

I can understand giving a three-year-old a pouch of pureed fruit in the car or on an airplane where there’s not much room to maneuver and choking might be a hazard.

Most adults, however, have the ability to feed themselves and to chew solid food. No preparation — except a quick rinse — is required to eat an apple or a carrot. Bananas don’t even need a rinse.

Are we really so busy now that we don’t have time to chew?

I can’t help but think of the Pixar film “WALL-E,” where humans have been cruising around in space for 700 years.

As people zoom around the spaceship on their personal hover chairs, a friendly intercom voice announces “Time for lunch — in a cup!”

People suck up their meals through straws and throw their cups away without missing a beat.

These little pouch products can be legitimately useful in some circumstances, and eating a serving of fruit in near-liquid form is better than not eating any.



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