A smart marketing ploy calls attention to Capri Sun's new "no sugar added" options, but a closer look at the nutrition label shows one ingredient that might prove otherwise.
Credit: Photo Courtesy of Target

Kraft’s Capri Sun brand pulled out all the stops earlier this month to entice shoppers into considering a line of new, all-natural, no-sugar-added juices.

The brand tapped singer John Legend to make a viral commercial that has the superstar infiltrating a yoga class to influence a mother into buying Capri Sun – while being guided by the woman’s pair of adorably silly kids.

“They have all natural ingredients,” Legend says, facing the clearly terrified mother. “And no added sugar.”

You’ll smile at the sugary-sweet attempt to highlight an alternative fruit drink for parents looking for healthier options. But the promise of "no sugar added" might be a little misleading.

Jamie Vespa, Cooking Light’s assistant nutrition editor, believes it could be easy for shoppers perusing new products in the supermarket aisle to take the product’s "no sugar added" claim at face value. There’s an ingredient in Capri Sun’s new Fruit Refreshers that's telling of how much sugar is really in the product.

Credit: Photo Courtesy of Target

“The difference between the regular Capri Sun and the newer Capri Sun product is obvious in the ingredient list – there’s no ‘sugar’ listed in the new product,” Vespa says. “But the third ingredient in most of these new flavors is some sort of fruit-based juice concentrate, which really is concentrated with sugar. There’s plenty of sugar in concentrate, and 'no sugar added' could be misleading.”

Upon first look, the new Capri Sun Fruit Refresher juice does have around 3 grams less sugar than the original Capri Sun juice you’re familiar with. But what’s really problematic is that the 10 grams of sugar within the fruit juice is only for a 6-ounce serving, whereas other natural fruit juices might have comparable sugar levels for a larger serving.

Vespa believes the new Capri Sun product should, however, be commended for the portion size – after all, 6 ounces is manageable compared to other fruit juices and soft drinks on the market. But you might want to ask yourself – will my child really just drink one pouch of Capri Sun? For parents who are looking to satisfy thirsty children, 6 ounces probably won’t cut it.

At the end of the day, a single pouch of Capri Sun’s Fruit Refresher stands out as marginally better for your child than the normal, older formula – and Vespa says it’s a comparatively better option for a packaged fruit juice than other offerings.

But even with John Legend serenading you, it’s important to note that the new product isn’t going to make the cut for a healthy diet – multiple servings of this juice a day add up to a sugar overload for any child.