Review: Sunkist Naturals Glorious Greens

The Sunkist brand is one that is familiar in the beverage marketplace, given the popularity of Sunkist orange soda since 1978. However, it should be noted that the name is actually licensed from Sunkist Growers, a co-op of citrus growers in California and Arizona. The folks at Maverick Brands has teamed up with Sunkist on a new series of juices and smoothies called Sunkist Naturals. We just had the opportunity to try one of the many flavors, Sunkist Naturals Glorious Greens

Sunkist Naturals Glorious Greens

With 10 flavors to choose from, there’s bound to be a fruit smoothie combination that you like. I’m a big fan of apples, so the Glorious Greens flavor caught my eye. This flavor is described as containing green apple, kiwi, bananas, mango, pineapple, and lemon juice, along with 14 superfruits including wheat grass, flax seed, spirulina, and green tea.

I’m impressed with the package design on the Sunkist Naturals products, which each feature an attractive rounded 15.2 oz. bottle, a bit more curved than what we saw with the Zola Immunity Smoothie. The caps are color-coded to match the flavor, which also ties into the visual imagery on the lower half of the bottle. Below the prominent “Sunkist” name and smaller “Naturals” brand, is the flavor description, along with a small explaination. This is superimposed on attractive photographic art showing the fruits included in this drink. In the case of Sunkist Naturals Glorious Greens, apples and kiwis can be easily seen with a greenish-hue.

The back of the bottle not only contains Nutrition Facts, but also a short story about the flavor (in this case, it was “Enjoy Your Greens!”) that further describes the process of making this particular smoothie flavor. They don’t shy away from all the stuff that’s included in this drink. For example, this description of Glorious Greens was pulled from the official website:

Each sip contains vitamin filled green vegetables including broccoli, cabbage and kale; along with antioxidant rich green tea and phytonutrient rich echinacea, dulse and spirulina. Plus, heart-healthy omega-3 rich flax seeds and blue-green algae. The smoothie is a good source of vitamins B-complex, C, K and also contains dietary fiber.

In college, I worked in food service management and used kale quite often as a display garnish. And I can’t say that I even know what “phytonutrient rich echinacea” is, but apparently, I drank it!

And speaking of drinking, I bet you are wondering what this beverage tastes like! Upon opening the bottle, you are met with, well, somewhat of a scary green drink. It’s darkish green, something looking like blended spinach. Add to that the sweet — yet uniquely odd — scent of vegetables. If you aren’t familiar with drinking smoothies (include me in that group), then you have to ask yourself, “seriously, you are going to drink this?” I was wondering if starting with the green-colored drink was a good idea or not!

Thankfully, that choice was redeemed when I actually took my first sip. I was really surprised by the flavor! (Apparently, the color green set my bar low, but still, it tasted good!) The flavor was sweet and provided a very clean aftertaste. The prominent tastes came from kiwi and banana, I felt, though there was a nice touch of that bitterness you find with green apples. The scent and flavor experience together also brought out the hint of pineapple influence, in sort of a tropical, citrusy way. Frankly, when I got beyond the look and the scent, I had a pleasant drinking experience.

Here’s what’s inside:

Sunkist Naturals Glorious Greens
Apple juice (water, apple juice concentrate), apple juice puree, banana puree (banana, citric and ascorbic acid), mango puree, pineapple juice (water, pineapple juice concentrate), kiwi puree, nutrient blend (spirulina, chlorella, green tea extract, spinach, broccoli, wheat grass, barley grass, oat grass, green cabbage, dulse, kale, echinacea, flax seed, citrus bioflavonoids), lemon juice concentrate, natural flavor

Each 15.2 oz. bottle is technically 2 servings, but seriously, who just drinks half a bottle? Thus, if you do the Nutrition Facts math for the whole bottle, you are looking at 280 calories, 50 mg of sodium, 520 mg of potassium, 68 g of carbs — including 6 g of dietary fiber and 56 g of sugars, and 4 g of protein.

Unlike most of the carbonated soft drinks you’ll find us exploring here on, this is a drink that really shines in the nutrients area. For example, it contains 80% of your daily values for Vitamin A and 60% for Vitamin C. Round that out with Calcium (2%), Iron (4%), Vitamin K (15%), Thiamin (4%), Riboflavin (2%), Vitamin B6 (15%), Vitamin B12 (20%), Iodine (40%), Magnesium (6%), Zine (4%), and Manganese (20%). The bottle proclaims that is contains 100% juice, nothing artificial, no preservatives (thus why you have to keep this stuff refrigerated), and no GMO (that’s genetically modified organisms — yeah, I had to look it up!)

And for you Pepsi Throwback lovers out there… there’s no high fructose corn syrup either (ha ha!)

Despite the odd green color found in Sunkist Naturals Glorious Greens, I was pleasantly surprised by the taste. With a balance of apple, kiwi, and other smoothie-ish flavors, this drink hit the spot. Hats off to the solid packaging design as well, which drew in a non-smoothie drinker like myself with its nice visuals and familiar brand name.

Full Disclosure: Beverage provided compliments of Maverick Brands