Orange juice brand Tropicana outranked by supermarket own-labels in taste test

Orange juice is one of many staple shopping-list products that’s been hit by inflation, forcing many Britons to trade their favourite brands for supermarket labels.

But while some continue to pay a premium for the unique flavour of leading names like Tropicana, a blind taste test has revealed that they may not be so different after all.

A panel of 64 consumers put brands like Innocent and Tropicana smooth orange juice alongside 10 cheaper own-label versions from leading UK supermarkets.

Products from Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Asda, and more, were tasted by Britons who were unaware of the branding on each fruity drink.

Surprisingly, one of the cheapest retailers came out on top with the best-unbranded orange juice.

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Voted as the “best buy” and “great value” out of 10 products was the Aldi “The Juice Company Orange Juice Smooth”. 

The one-litre product retails for a bargain price of £1.49. Aldi’s juice is the recommended pick for those after a tasty, budget-friendly alternative to the big brands.

The verdict on the product was that taste testers loved its sweet, tangy flavour and was rated better than almost every other supermarket’s own label overall.

As one of the cheapest on the test (and less than half the price of Innocent), it’s a great value option for those looking to cut shopping costs without compromising on the taste.

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Innocent’s “Pure Orange Juice Smooth” did steal the top spot for flavour, but at a staggering £3 for less than one litre (900ml), the product did not boast value for money.

Tasters were impressed with the well-balanced citrus flavour and satisfying sweetness of Innocent’s juice. The product is considerably more expensive than most own labels, but it is usually on offer somewhere, so it’s worth shopping around to get the best deal. Currently, it’s £2.10 in Waitrose, making it 23p per 100ml, while Ocado has it on offer for two for £4.

In third place was Co-op’s own-brand 100 percent Squeezed Orange Juice Smooth (£2 for one litre), which tied with Lidl and M&S products.

Natalie Hitchins, Which? Head of Home Products and Services, said: “Orange juice is a breakfast staple for many households. With a wide range of options available on the market, our results show that you don’t have to spend a fortune for your morning vitamin C boost. Discounter Aldi proved popular with consumers and received a Best Buy and Great Value award for its tasty, budget-friendly alternative which beat big brand Tropicana.”

Budget retailer Lidl won for its Naturis Pure Squeezed Orange Juice Smooth, which also worked out as the cheapest in third place at just £1.49 for one litre.

As the joint cheapest on the test alongside Aldi, Lidl’s juice scored high marks across the board, impressing on appearance, flavour and mouthfeel. However, some claimed that it wasn’t sweet enough for their liking, so those who prefer a sweeter juice may prefer alternatives.

M&S’s juice was the priciest own-brand option tested (Pure Squeezed Orange Juice – £2.10 for one litre), though it still offered a decent saving compared to the big brands.

The supermarket labels beat Tropicana which fell short of its value for money at £3.25 for 900ml, and its “weak flavour”.

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