Kraft Heinz announced a recall of its popular kid-friendly drink pouches at the same time students are heading back to school.
The company is voluntarily recalling approximately 5,760 cases of the Capri Sun wild cherry flavored juice drink after diluted cleaning solution, which is used on food processing equipment, was inadvertently introduced into a production line at one of its factories. Only the wild cherry-flavored Capri Sun products were affected, according to the company. The issue was discovered after Kraft Heinz received several consumer complaints about the taste of the affected product.
In other Capri Sun news, the company is rolling out reformulations of the drink pouches that cut sugar by 40%—a move made possible with the use of monk fruit concentrate.
The new drink pouches have, on average, 8 grams of total sugars and 5 grams of added sugars per serving, compared to 11 grams of added sugars, on average, before the reformulation. The reformulation includes all flavors of its drink pouches, which hit retailer shelves this month in new packaging that highlights the sugar reduction.
According to the company, the reformulation was motivated by parents who are increasingly focused on kids’ sugar intake.
"Sugar, especially in the beverage category, is a major pain point for parents," Erica Watkins, associate brand director, Capri Sun, said in a press release. "As a category leader … it was critical that the renovation meet our brand's size and scale without compromising either our iconic taste or our commitment to using all natural ingredients."
U.S. retail sales of children’s food and beverages reached $70 billion in 2021, driven largely by parents’ demands for healthier products that offer different sources of protein, less sugar, and vitamins and nutrients that support kids’ growth needs. The COVID-19 pandemic also prompted parents to take a more proactive role in their children’s health; more than three-quarters (77%) of parents around the globe said they’re more proactive about their child’s health as a result of the pandemic.
Reducing sugar content while maintaining the “iconic, delicious taste” of Capri Sun was key, and an effort that took “several years” to perfect, the company said of the largest renovation of the brand since it first launched in 1986. Monk fruit concentrate, the company said, was the “major unlock” to achieving that goal.
Monk fruit concentrate is a naturally derived, calorie-free sweetener that’s 150-250 times sweeter than sucrose and up to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Monk fruit is commonly used in confectionery, dairy, cereals, tabletop and baked goods, but its mild aftertaste profile and water-solubility make it a versatile solution for many low- or reduced-sugar applications.
Capri Sun’s new lower-sugar formula may also help the iconic drink brand stay competitive in the juice and kids’ drinks categories. Other popular beverage brands like Ocean Spray, too, have answered calls for lower-sugar, natural kids’ drinks. Ocean Spray recently launched its Growing Goodness juice boxes, which contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and no added sugars.
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