PurAqua Kids Fruit Punch Flavored Juice Drink (Aldi)

The packaging of PurAqua Kids Fruit Punch Flavored Juice Drink
No thanks...I'll just stick to water.

As anyone can probably tell from reading this blog for 5 minutes, I’m far from a snob when it comes to food products: I’ll try just about anything, regardless of my feelings for it, just so I can say I tried it, and to establish a legitimate opinion about it. After all, as the saying goes, “You never know until you’ve tried it,” and that sentiment is pretty true across the board. Which is probably why the saying is so universal and popular.

But one area where I am somewhat of a snob: juice. If it ain’t 100% juice, I’m not interested. I don’t know why, because I know the FDA has a weird way to calculate juice percentage (after all, even juice made from reconstituted juices - that is, fruits that are dried out so they can be shipped, and then filled back up with water at their destination - can qualify for 100% juice status) and if it’s like anything else they do, it’s unreliable and shady as hell, but hey, it gives me piece of mind. And anything that gives one piece of mind in this illusory world shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Well, this juice product from PurAqua not only fails to qualify for the “100% juice” moniker, it barely is even able to call itself juice: there’s just 5% in each box. This is for a reason though: it’s not juice so much as those “water-based” juice beverages that seem to be all the rage, despite the fact most taste like absolute shit. I’m really doubting hard that kids anywhere are drinking these with any sort of regularity...and yet, more seem to be cropping up on store shelves all the time.

So why did I buy this one? I’ll admit, I got it with the sole intention of ripping it apart, and for the reasons outlined above: no kid should ever have to drink one of these. At their worst, they qualify as cruel and unusual punishment; at their best, the taste of water is still less offensive. (And I hate drinking water more than just about anything else in the entire world.)

One sip in, and...yep, it sucks. The taste is predominantly water (as expected), and there’s still that cough syrupy flavor and aftertaste in the back of the throat that seems to linger indefinitely. The taste is nowhere near as offensive as Simple Truth’s Punch-y Water, but it’s also similar in that I will never buy these again. It’s a more muted, sophisticated kind of awful. At least there’s that.

Oh, and even stupider: it’s organic. So you can enjoy this even more knowing the barely-noticeable fruit flavor that you’re not getting much of is completely organic, allowing them to charge even more for the satisfaction of providing you with such natural, fresh fruit. Psssh, whatever. I’ll squeeze my own goddamn fruit juice into water if I ever got that desperate.

Individual box of PurAqua Kids Fruit Punch Juice Drink, from Aldi
Those smiling fruits are misleading little shits.

I do take some umbrage with the packaging here, though: nowhere does it insinuate that it’s a “water-based” beverage. I could just tell based on general vibe, and from trying these products before; at quick glance, though, it just looks more or less like a typical juice in a box. Sure, it tells you there’s only “5% juice” right there on the front, but the lettering is kind of small and blends in somewhat with the background...it would be easy information for a busy parent to skim over, thus exposing his or her child to intense disappointment once he or she tries it.

Value doesn’t really matter here, because no matter the cost, it sucks. If you’re one of the few who enjoy this kind of thing, here’s more of the same. If you’re a normal person, stick to either juice, or water. Pick one.

Overall: 3/10. It’s (slightly) better than Simple Truth’s heinously awful version, and if you’re thirsty (read: dehydrated), it’s very drinkable, but other than that, this is just another barely flavored, “barely juice” drink aimed at kids, who would rather just have juice. Or water. So please parents, for the love of God, just get them juice or water instead, rather than scarring them for life.

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