Sunday, July 3, 2016

Nature's Nectar Tropical Boost Smoothie (Aldi)



It's an accurate replica of the national brand...which in this case is rather unfortunate.
All thanks to Aldi, I've gotten into Bolthouse Farms smoothies: they started carrying their Green Goodness flavor over a year ago, for a ridiculously good price, and so I made a point to buy them frequently. Even now, with the price having gone up a full 40 cents (from $2.95 to $3.35), it's still a pretty good deal for the 32 oz. drinks; while looking for them at a supermarket, I was appalled to find that the typical retail price of the large bottles is around $4.50.
 
Well the main plus to when Aldi parades around a name-brand product, is that we can generally plan on seeing an Aldi-brand version of it arrive sooner or later: true-to-form, they began rolling out their own private-label recreations of these smoothies late last year. Perhaps a little surprisingly, the flavors have been largely hit-or-miss, with some tasting very similarly to their name-brand counterpart (and keep in mind, I'm assuming that Bolthouse is the supplier simply based on both the similar packaging, and only a vague idea of how they work as a company), and others failing rather wildly. As of now, all of their smoothies are Special Buy's, meaning that once they sell out, they're gone until the next cycle, but maybe that will also change in the future.

Since I go crazy for these (the Aldi versions sell for $2.49 per 32 oz. bottle, which is ridiculously cheap for this kind of stuff), I perked up when I saw two more would be available about a month ago. Either my store never got them in, or I completely missed them over the span of a few trips, because I never once saw them. Flash-forward to this past ad, when the adverts revealed two additional flavors being offered: I was a little nervous, since I never saw the last batch, but found these relatively easy, and about a week early. Without hesitation, I bought both of them to try them out.

First up we have the Tropical Boost, a flavor that I've actually tried in the national brand, thanks to Aldi offering those as a Special Buy at some point last year. I've mentioned before that one of the easiest ways to get me interested in something, is simply to throw the word “Tropical” on the label somewhere; that's what suckered me in here.

The base scent is strongly of coconut, along with a lot of other vague scents that I guess smell a little tropical-y. It's still inviting enough, so I threw it back. The flavor is pretty heavy on coconut, but overall it tastes very similar to how it smells: like a mess of indistinguishable juices. There's also something about the whole concoction that tastes kind of...watered-down on the back end, like it's building up to an epic flavor that just isn't there. Looking back on it, this was actually the exact same problem I had with the national brand, so it's not an Aldi-specific problem; the taste itself is highly accurate in comparison to the main stuff.

Basically, if you enjoy Bolthouse's version of this, you will like this one, because it's pretty much an exact replica. I, on the other hand, am not a huge fan, so I didn't really enjoy this all that much. It does get some extra points for value, because 32 oz. are a mere $2.49 (a price that you generally can't even get the smaller bottles of the national stuff for), but even at that price point, I probably won't pick this up again.

Overall: 5/10. It tastes just like the national brand, which I'm pretty sure it's also made by, but even by those standards, this is one of my least-favorite flavors. The coconut comes through in both the aroma, and the taste, but all the flavors surrounding it are pretty indistinguishable, in my opinion (without cheating and reading the ingredients, anyway). By having the coconut come through first, which is a pretty weak taste on its own, it hints at a stronger blast of flavors that never come, making the end result taste kind of watered-down and disappointing. The $2.49 price point for a 32 oz. bottle makes this an excellent deal in terms of price, but what's value if the taste just isn't there?  Not one of my favorites of Nature's Nectar's smoothie line, but it's drinkable in a pinch, though I would never intentionally seek it out.

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