Wait a minute… it’s the Minute Maid fiasco

Having been sucked into what I reluctantly accept is an interesting television ad, I was brought back to earth the next day when my taste-buds were the unfortunate victims of a head-on collision with this concoction masquerading as a credible juice.

Perhaps I should have been suspicious in light of recent Dasani and Aqua + capitulations, but one always has to hope that a company with the financial muscle, npd resources and heritage of Coca-Cola should be able to assemble a half-decent juice.

While I appreciate that packaging design is subjective, this product looks as though it has been in Doctor Who’s lunch box for the past few centuries, since it represents product packaging with all the creative cues of P&Js and we all know what happened to them!

In this Innocent era, insincere, multimarket packaging is not really acceptable for a product pretending to be thoughtful and discerning.

Then one notices the “no added sugar” claim on the label. Good, one suspects, until you notice that this is a product packed with artificial sweeteners which some food scientists believe to be carcinogenic.

“With multivitamins” is also an interesting phrase. Multivitamins tend to be added because the drink is made from concentrate, which means that the original juice was cooked at approaching boiling point to get rid of its water content. During this process, almost all of the vitamin content will have been lost and much of the fructose will have formed caramelised sucrose. All free radicals will have been lost. Can any fruit juice that has been boiled, turned into concentrate and then diluted with water claim to provide “one of your daily portions of fruit”?

Then there is “25 per cent of RDA of vitamins”. This is due to added vitamins that are not as digestible as real fruit, but are necessary because the concentrate used to make the drink contains so few vitamins.

Best of all is the marketing kidology that asks the lucky recipient to “shake well before drinking; you see, we use a lot of fruit in our drink and some settling will occur”. An interesting observation, given that a) concentrates are filtered/clarified and b) the drink contains hardly any fruit.

None of this means that Minute Maid shouldn’t have its place on the shelf, it should simply stop pretending to be something it isn’t.

Ian Hills

Head of marketing

Saxon 1050

London W1

PS. I suspect the “Minute” relates to how long it took the marketing department to cobble together this concept.

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