Back when we reviewed Jones Soda Cream Soda, we noted the new use of cane sugar as a sweetener that Jones Soda is now using in their drinks. When Jones Soda announced this change back in December 2006, it was noted that all of the company’s beverages would be using cane sugar by mid-2007.
Well, the other day I was at Panera Bread and I came across a flavor that seemed to be pre-switch, as the ingredients noted that it was sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. The beverage? Jones Naturals Berry White flavor, which has been officially discontinued. (I won’t speculate how long I think this particular bottle had been sitting around at this Panera Bread location!)
The Jones Naturals collection started in 2001 (and was originally called Jones Juice). It’s pretty much the Jones version of Snapple, packaged in 20 oz. bottles (Snapple comes in 16 oz. bottles). The drinks aren’t carbonated and their claim to fame is that they contain a small percentage of real juice.
The Berry White flavor (nice place on words with that title, by the way) is subtitled as a “Strawberry, Cherry, & Grapefruit” drink, notably a “natural flavored beverage with Vitamins C, E, & Taurine.” As we’ve noted before in many reviews, taurine is often used in energy drinks (see AMP, Mountain Dew MDX, and Monster Energy). This bottle of Jones Naturals contained 16 mg of taurine.
The ingredient lineup of my bottle of Berry White is as follows: Filtered Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Pear and/or Apple Juice from Concentrate, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Gum Arabic, Ester Gum, Taurine, Vitamin E Acetate. It was also interestingly noted that I should “shake well before drinking.”
Like other Jones Soda products, this bottle notes that it is a “Product of Canada”. Unlike typical Jones Soda beverages, there aren’t cutsy little saying under the caps. Rather, some odd iconography adorns the bottle and cap on Jones Naturals. For example, under the cap was an image of a smiling car, while the back of the bottle had a camper icon. Probably the most humorous part of the branding is on the top of the bottlecap, next to the safety button, where it is noted that “if the button is up, tell your Mom!”
As for the drink itself, it had a cherry scent, while more of a lemonade-type color. Light yellow, cloudy. Very appealing. Flavor was very similar to a Snapple beverage, namely a watered down version of their Kiwi Strawberry flavor. Actually, the closest parallel I could make to the taste of Berry White is that of Capri-Sun‘s Fruit Punch flavor (you know, the pouch drinks!). Overall, a very sweet drink! Not bad, but the sweetness was almost too much.
According to the Jones Soda official website, the flavor of Berry White has been retired. That’s unfortunate. It’s not a bad drink, but maybe there are other flavors in the Jones empire that are more successful.
Oh, and before I go, I should note that the photo on the front was shot by Todd Wedgworth of Hallandale, FL, as part of the Series 9: “Panera Associates” collection of images. According to Wikipedia, Hallandale is “sometimes referred to in jest as the ‘southernmost Canadian city’… a popular vacation destination for decades, and most of the tourists come from Quebec.” Sérieusement?