Sunday, June 4, 2017

Nature's Nectar Iced Tea and Lemonade Beverage (Aldi)


It tastes good, but it's not always all about the taste, as you will see in my investigative report below...
My wife and I were on the hunt for something that never showed up to our usual Aldi location, so we ended up going to a different one to look for it. While there, I saw this plain-looking container of the combination frequently referred to as an “Arnold Palmer”: sweet tea and lemonade. My wife almost immediately mentioned she thought it would taste like the tea company named after a state (hint: Phoenix is in it), but I quickly dismissed that notion, because Aldi actually carries that name brand (the theory is that Aldi only carries name brands when they cannot find a supplier than can accurately mimic it; once they do, they get rid of the main brand and replace it with their own knockoff). Besides, this bottle didn't resemble that brand's aesthetic at all: it was shaped differently, the colors and fonts were completely different...usually something is there to allude to what product it's knocking off, but this had none of it. So I just figured it would be its own thing.

Lo and behold, my wife was completely right: this is just about an exact knockoff of the national brand Arnold Palmer. It's a mix of black tea and lemonade, and both parts are balanced well enough that they each get a chance to shine. It captures the same flavor with a very low price (a 64 oz. bottle retails for $1.49) so there's really no reason not to try this. Other than that, not much else I can say about it, except that it's a Special Buy, so chances are good that, by now, your store won't have any left.

Except, are you actually getting a good deal? It also brings me back to the quandary I posed earlier: Why would Aldi have a Special Buy knockoff of a brand that they always carry? Digging in a little deeper: Why would they undercut themselves by offering the national brand version for even cheaper? It doesn't really make sense, but that's exactly what they did! In the next paragraph, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I will break it down for you.

I just bought a jug of the name brand, from Aldi, for $2.49, the price it has been lately. Even assuming this price is temporary, I've never seen it go above $2.79. Inside the “jug” are 128 oz. of tea, which equals one gallon. As you can see from earlier in my post, a 64 oz. bottle of Aldi's version costs $1.49; doubled, that means a gallon of Aldi's version would run you $3, which is more than I've ever seen a single gallon of the name brand stuff go for there. As you can see, while the flavor is every bit as good as the name brand, you're also paying a higher price.

Now, I know things like this aren't always cut and dry, so while the above math is correct, it might not make sense for everyone. For example, smaller households might not have enough people that can drink an entire gallon, in which case paying a little bit more (in the long run) for this, would make more sense than spending more for a gallon and wasting half of it. I get that. And even so, it's not like $1.49 is a ridiculous price to begin with, for 64 ounces of liquid refreshment. But for me, it makes much more sense to stick to the name brand, at least as long as Aldi will continue to offer it for such an affordable price.

Overall: 5/10. This is another review where I'm put in a quandary: this is almost an exact knockoff of the popular iced tea/lemonade mixture made my a company that shares the same name as a state in the U.S. (hint: it begins with the letter “A”). The only problem is, at least at our Aldi, they actually offer gallon jugs of the name brand stuff, for just $2.49. Nature's Nectar's 64 oz. bottle is $1.49, meaning the name brand is a whole 50 cents cheaper, per gallon. Still, it's a sloppy business model for Aldi to undercut themselves, and why they even offered this as a Special Buy defies all logic. I guess if your local Aldi doesn't carry the national brand version of this, then this might be a pretty decent deal. Ditto for smaller households that can't drink an entire gallon before it expires. For the rest of us, though, it's probably a better idea to just stick to the name brand, since it's less expensive to begin with.

1 comment:

  1. While I haven't seen the Nature's Nectar brand at my local store, I'd wager that your store may be just unloading leftover "A" brand stock. My store hasn't had the "Arnold Palmer" stuff in weeks if not months and I'm convinced they probably won't ever get another restock especially with your report of them coming out with their own brand.

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