Tag Archives: soda

Izze Sparkling Pomegranate

Complete Score: 34 / 42 = 81%

Hmmm…sparkling pomegranates…hmmm!

The latest craze aside, I love the taste of pomegranates, they’re sweet but sharp and instantly refreshing. That’s why when I saw the Izze Sparkling Pomegranate Juice Soda, I had to give it a try.

Value

At $1 per 12 ounce bottle, IZZE is neither cheap nor expensive but rather middle of the range. It’s made from all natural ingredients and contains real non-refined sugar so at least it’s better than soda with high fructose corn syrup.

The nutritional value of this drink is low, as it contains 120 calories, 15 mg of sodium and 29 grams of carbohydrates, 26 of which are from sugar.

Score: 3 / 5

Hmm...pomegranatey
Hmm...pomegranatey

Quality

As noted above, Izze uses all natural ingredients in their drinks and it makes a difference as one glass of Sparkling Pomegranate juice delivers a sharp, sweet taste that pays homage to its name, while the lack of refined sugars and caffeine does not leave you feeling drained just a few minutes later. It’s a very refreshing beverage and the sparkling (carbonated) water is a nice touch that gives you that little bit of fizz action.

Score: 4 / 5

Innovation

This pomegranate soda is a unique drink that I’ve yet to see bottled by other companies. It’s flavored similar to pomegranate juice but also has a mix of juice from pineapples, apples, white grapes, lemons, and cranberries to balance out the flavor very nicely. Also note that the label on the Izze Sparkling Pomegranate bottle points out that the USDA recommends we get most of our fruit from whole fruits, and urges us to eat whole fruits! Imagine that, a company telling us the truth and recommending we buy a product they don’t make!

Score: 4 / 5

Social Benefit

Unlike the Hansen’s line of natural sodas we reviewed earlier, Izze’s natural flavored juice beverages come in glass bottles that make for easier recycling and a cleaner taste than aluminum cans.s Also, as noted in the innovation category, Izze recommends we eat whole fruits too, not just rely on their beverages for our daily fruit servings. It’s nice to see a company state health facts that don’t necessarily help their bottom line. The all natural ingredients round out a beverage that might not be good for us on its own, but is certainly much, much better for us and our society than the average High Fructose Corn Syrup laden sodas found on our shelves.

Izze also participates in their community, giving back some of their profits to help others, thus also helping to offset any negative externalities such as pollution from transporting the beverage.

Score: 4 / 5

Fizzy!
Fizzy!

Freestyle!

Simply put, pomegranates rock and the Izze Sparkling Pomegrante juice soda drink is uber tasty delicious!

Score: 18 / 22

Buy delicious Izze Sparkling Pomegranate Juice Soda online right now!

Complete Score: 34 / 42 = 81%

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%