Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cranberry or conberry

First some background.

Cranberry is not native to India. To be more correct, the berry is not native to India, but both the juice and the berry are hugely popular amongst India’s urban ‘smart set’ Cranberry is now copiously consumed by the `smart set’ and why should it not be? Cranberry juice is an attractive colour, is easily available in brightly coloured Tetra Paks with pictures of idyllic happy families glowing with health. What an image of a panacea.

Cranberry juice is very healthy. Cranberries have been dubbed a `superfruit’. `Superfruit is a marketing term that refers to a fruit which combines exceptional nutrient richness and antioxidant quality with an appealing taste that can stimulate and retain loyalty for the product. Antioxidants are necessary to rid our bodies of the poisons that we consume because of our lifestyles and the general pollution, stress, tensions, et al. At least that’s what the all the nature cure/naturopathy lot claim. Not only does Cranberry have loads of antioxidants but it also has tannins that have anti clotting properties as well as properties to clear urinary tracts. Thus drinking Cranberry juice is beneficial for women to prevent UTI.

There is only one problem. There is very little Cranberry juice in a Cranberry Juice Tetra Pak. In fact there is a whole lot of Apple Juice. Yup. Apple Juice, juice from the stuff that keeps doctors away.

A couple of days ago I bought some so called Cranberry Juice to serve to non alcohol consuming guests. I craftily thought that I could use the same ingredient to make Cosmopolitans. The juice did not get over so I left the Tetra Paks in the refrigerator. On finishing the carton earlier today, I read the nutritional information and came away horrified, shocked at the lying multinational corporate and was provoked.

Just have a look at the ingredients. The most is water [which is perfectly normal], then sugar [which too is acceptable as Cranberries are extremely sour, verging on bitter] then apple juice concentrate [2.3%] and then cranberry juice concentrate [a shocking miniscule 0.72%]. Be that as it may, while I hope you are fairly indignant, please do read the next paragraph. It says in capital letters THIS CONTAINS 23% FRUIT JUICE CONTENT. Now I am not a mathematician, I am a washed up lawyer. How does 2.3% + 0.72% add up to 23% I do not know?

I was appalled reading this. However the clincher is at the very bottom of the carton. This is not Cranberry Juice at all, it is a Cranberry Beverage. So is this an example of a corporate being extra smart, doing Jugaad? I think yes, it’s deception bordering on outright thuggery. How paranoidly vigilant does one have to be to understand what it is you are buying? How much fine print are you to read when buying something.

I wonder what their apple juice would contain.

Disturbing, very disturbing. 


  1. This a prime example of adhering to the Letter of the Law and making 'Full Disclosures' but 'Consumers Beware'

  2. I am not so sure Ravi. To have less Cranberry juice than Apple juice and call it Cranberry beverage or otherwise? 2.3% + 0.72% = 23%. How do you deal with that?

  3. But isn't most advertising "lies"? You should have a look at the "Natural" fruit juice ads.... the same thing ...or even the toothpaste ads... I don't think there is much that can be done. As long as there are gullible folk around... such ads will work

  4. Advertising may or may not be `lies' `puffery' etc. This is not the same. This is an actual product package. Its not advertising. It much more serious.