Hansen’s Mandarin Lime Soda

Complete Score: 18.5 / 42 = 44%

A few months ago I completely weaned myself off sodas and went soda-free for a couple of months. At first it was tough breaking that addiction, especially because my body and mind simply craved soda. Honestly, the decision to cut out soda from my diet was partly due to health and environmental concerns, but mostly it was an economical decision! Simply put, after having quit my job I needed to consciously drink liquids that would replenish what I needed in exchange for the smallest cost possible. Of course, this meant I mostly drank water.

Still, the cravings never truly disappeared and one day John introduced me to natural sodas, made from natural ingredients, devoid of high fructose corn syrup and artificial preservatives. Since then, I’ve discovered Hansen’s Natural Sodas and every now and then indulge myself in some cheap and natural sodas.

Value

At the Stop & Shop down the street from my house Hansen’s natural sodas are available for $.59 per can, plus a $.05 deposit. Sixty four cents is considerably cheaper than a Coca-Cola or Pepsi product and is better for your body too. Still, for $.64 you simply do not get much nutritional value from a Hansen’s natural soda and by no means is it good for you, it’s just better than artificially sweetened over processed sodas.

Straight from Hansen’s site, the nutritional facts for one serving (one can) are:

  • 150 Calories
  • 0 g Total Fat
  • 0 mg Sodium
  • 39 g Total Carb
  • 39 g Sugars 39g
  • 0 g Protein

In other words, empty calories and sugar. Sometimes though you crave a sweet sugary soda, and during those times you could do a lot worse than buying a Hansen’s natural soda.

Score: 3 / 5

Quality

It’s very, very tasty. I’ll admit, I’ve gone on somewhat of a bender on these sodas, as I’ve always loved orange soda and the Mandarin-Lime taste is quite appealing to me. The ingredients are all natural, which is refreshing for a soda. In fact, this orange soda is not even orange!

Check it out:

The bubbles means it's breathing
The bubbles means it's breathing

And again, straight from Hansen’s site, here are the Ingredients:

“Pure triple filtered carbonated water, cane sugar, citric acid, natural flavors with extracts of yucatan mandarin and colima lime”

I’d certainly rather drink those natural ingredients rather than some artificial chemical concocted in some corporate laboratory.

Score: 3.5 / 5

Innovation

Now, though Hansen’s contains only natural cane sugar we can’t quite credit them for the innovation. In fact, Hansen’s only changed to cane sugar from high fructose corn syrup this past April, as the FDA announced that drinks could not be labeled natural if they contained high fructose corn syrup. They state that they were planning the change earlier but in either case it’s not highly inventive to use a natural ingredient instead of an artificial chemical. I will credit Hansen’s with having flavors not commonly found in sodas though. For instance they have kiwi strawberry, mango orange and pomegranate flavored sodas.

Score: 3 / 5

Social Benefit

Their sodas come in aluminum cans, which are much, much more recyclable than plastic. They get points for using aluminum over plastic bottles. However, taking a look at some of Hansen’s other products, they do use plenty of plastic. Also, aluminum is not a green material by any means and soda is certainly not a necessary food item.

In this country, we’re faced with an obesity epidemic, and though natural sodas are certainly healthier than other sodas loaded with high fructose corn syrup and artificial preservatives, these sodas are still by no means healthy.

Score: 1 / 5

Orange can, clear soda
Orange can, clear soda

Freestyle!

Part of our review process here at OTIBR includes reaching out to the companies we review to give them a chance to let us know of their work behind the scenes. For instance, my review for organic Australian blood oranges was enhanced by Global Organics NZ LTD informing me that they ship their food via sea freight, not air freight as I assumed. Before publishing this review for Hansen’s Mandarin Lime Soda, I e-mailed the company looking for a few answers on their environmental policy. Seeing how many of their products utilized plastic bottles, that are more difficult to recycle than aluminum or glass we reached out to Hansen’s via their online e-mail form. Upon receiving a response it was apparent that Hansen’s was a bit confused by our site, as they looked at our review as a marketing opportunity, which if you read our disclosure policy or our about us section is clearly not the case!

We responded back to Hansen’s that we are a review site, not a marketing site and requested that our e-mail be forwarded to someone who could make a public statement or at least provide us with some more information. It’s been three weeks and we’ve yet to hear back from Hansen’s so we’ve moved on. Some companies get it and some do not. For instance Sweet Leaf promotes consumers and media to write about their product and even posts images of Sweet Leaf drinks for media and fans to use! Sweet Leaf also responded to our e-mails in a timely and honest fashion. Hansen’s on the other hand seems to be very un-organized, especially as parts of their web-site list that their product still uses high fructose corn syrup, though they do not!

I mention all of this here, because it’s certainly affected my perception of the company. It’s partly why we have a freestyle section, as there is no other place to mention this poor experience with Hansen’s the company. It made me reconsider purchasing their product as I’m a big proponent of the line of thinking that a company is concerned with quality in all aspects or they are not. If the service is shoddy on this end, it makes me question their quality assurance in their manufacturing too. It’s a shame for Hansen’s as they make a tasty natural cheap soda, but perhaps we get what we pay for?

Score: 8 / 22

Hansen’s natural sodas are available at Stop & Shop, Shaw’s and other supermarkets.

Complete Score: 18.5 / 42 = 44%

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