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Capri Sun refreshes its look with sugary drinks in cans

Capri Sun Island Refreshers are a step up from pouches - but still contain only 10 percent real fruit juice.
Capri Sun Island Refreshers are a step up from pouches - but still contain only 10 percent real fruit juice.
Universal Press Syndicate

Capri Sun Island Refreshers Juice Drink. Tropical Fruit, Strawberry Kiwi, Orange Dragonfruit and Lemon Tea. 99 cents to $1.29 per 16.5-oz bottle or $9.99 per 15-bottle variety pack.

Bonnie: I really like the look and feel of Capri Sun Island Refreshers' new bottle-shaped can. The aluminum container chills faster than plastic and is resealable and recyclable. I also like that Island Refreshers contain no artificial ingredients. The ingredients include fruit juice or tea, but also lots of added sugars. One can, which is about two servings, contains about one-third of a cup of sugar. That's why I'd recommend this over Coke or Pepsi, but not over juice or water.

Carolyn: Those juice cartons and pouches are for little kids. In my experience, it's pretty much impossible for an adult to drink from those containers with those tiny straws without looking like an idiot or making embarrassing noises.

Capri Sun is trying for something literally and figuratively cooler with these drinks in metal bottles. The bottles I understand. Their contents are more of a puzzle. They contain real fruit juice but only 10 percent of it. They're all natural flavors, but those flavors are not part of the product names. (Apples and pears don't grow on any tropical island I've ever been to.) And the natural colors are hidden by the metal bottles.

This is a unique combination of attributes, for sure, but it's not one I'm particularly interested in.


Kellogg's Eggo Froot Loops Waffles. $2.59 per 9.9-ounce package of eight frozen waffles.

Bonnie: It's bad enough when food companies turn nutritious cereal into candy; now Kellogg's has destroyed its Eggo waffles by combining them with a candy-like cereal.

Buttermilk Eggos contain no artificial flavors or colors. But the artificial odor and taste of these new Froot Loops Eggos is almost overwhelming. (No, I'm not exaggerating.) Buttermilk Eggo Waffles contain only 2 grams of sugar per serving; these contain 24 (and that's without the syrup the folks who'd buy these would surely add). Even Marshmallow Froot Loops cereal has only 16 grams a serving.

No wonder America's in the middle of an obesity epidemic.

Carolyn: Froot Loops Eggos are one of the more amusing additions to the parade of offerings for people who want to eat several different breakfast foods simultaneously. That parade also includes Thomas' Maple French Toast English Muffins, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cap'n Crunch Chocolate Donut cereals. (I don't have the time or space here to discuss the ontological mystery that is Eggo Buttermilk Pancake Waffles.)

On the plus side, these really do taste like Froot Loops and are as colorful as a kaleidoscope. On the slightly negative side, I'm not sure who would buy these except for parents of kids who will eat Froot Loops and only Froot Loops. This seems mainly like a way for Kellogg's to profitably dispose of broken Froot Loops pieces.


Betty Crocker Pecan Supreme Brownies Mix. $2.28 per 19.5-ounce box.

Bonnie: The brownies from Betty Crocker's new Pecan Supreme Brownie mix are as close to homemade as you can get from a supermarket mix. That's probably because the mix mainly consists of the dry ingredients you'd add yourself, including cocoa, flour, sugar and leavening. The kids I asked to help test these usually don't like brownies with nuts, but they did like this one with pecans.

An even better brownie mix, Firenza Triple Chocolate Brownie, is available not in supermarkets but at specialty stores or at www.great-recipes.com. It is also considerably more expensive than Betty Crocker Supreme.

Carolyn: I grew up in a Duncan Hines and walnut family. That's the brand of baking mixes we always used and the kind of nut we always put in them. But this brownie mix helped me to see that I've been unfairly prejudiced against Betty and pecans. The brownies taste fine, and the pecans add a touch of class. If memory serves me correctly, Duncan Hines is a tiny bit more moist.


Bonnie Tandy Leblang is a registered dietitian and professional speaker. Carolyn Wyman is a junk-food fanatic and author of "Jell-O: A Biography" (Harvest/Harcourt). Each week they critique three new food items. © Universal Press Syndicate