What feels like a brief moment ago, I reviewed another smoothie in the Great Value line. It was good, but I was nevertheless disappointed that its exotic mix of three weird ingredients resulted in a drink that tasted like raspberry. Well, they offer another variant, and despite my slight reservations about the previous flavor, I wasn’t going to let that get in the way of covering this one.
As the title implies, this combines the taste of orange, mango and carrot together to form something that hopefully tastes like a combination of those, rather than banana, or some shit. And right off the bat, we get a little inkling of hope: It looks very orange, something I would expect out of a drink combining two orange-colored foods. It also smells strongly of mango, another positive. Could this be the product I was hoping for the first time?
As it turns out, the age old adage is true: Scents don’t lie. Mango is a pretty strong flavor on its own, so it’s not surprising that it stands front and center here. The orange trails right behind, giving a hint of acidity along with its trademark flavor. Unsurprisingly, the carrot seems to get lost in the shuffle, despite being the first juice listed in the ingredients; I have a feeling its biggest contribution might be to the color.
The spectrum of flavors in fruits typically range from “sweet” to “tart”, with many falling somewhere in between those two points. But mango is that rare one that’s hard to explain the taste to someone who’s never had it. It’s a real in-your-face experience that doesn’t “tingle” the tastebuds the way one would expect a sweet fruit to, but also doesn’t really contain the “sour” notes of, say, a cherry. It’s almost a full-on, oral assault. It is for this reason that I would consider it to be the most divisive “mainstream” fruit out there.
And it’s that divisiveness that will also relegate this to a pretty niche audience. The mango is so pronounced that it will not win over anyone who’s not already a fan. It doesn’t matter how much someone enjoys carrots or oranges, because those are just secondary flavors that hover in the background. The end result is an experience I would almost consider “overwhelming”; the explosion of flavor is unexpected and helps it stand out in a crowded sea of similar products. On the other hand, it’s not something I could see even fans of the fruit drinking on a regular basis.
If you’re looking for a smoothie that packs in flavor, this is an excellent choice. The value proposition is equally impressive, with each 7 oz. bottle retailing for a mere $1.18. Give it a shot; chances are you won’t be disappointed. Unless you hate mango.
Overall: 6.5/10. It has a strong mango flavor that stands out; it’s expected given that fruit’s unique taste, which could be considered “acqiured”. That alone is going to limit potential fans. There is a noticeable undercurrent of orange, while the carrot is most likely relegated to coloring, as it gets lost in the sea of other flavors. Coming in at $1.18 per bottle, this offers solid value for a bottled smoothie beverage. It’s good, but the overwhelming flavor profile isn’t something that lends well to frequent servings.
SIDE NOTE #1: I failed to mention in my previous review that these beverages are part of some media tie-in. ZAG, an independent studio, is peddling their Miraculous – Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir show on these bottles. I’m trying hard to prevent myself from going on a rant about how stupid most of these partnerships are. I get it if it’s a product that’s suited to the show or movie. Like toys, for example. But unless carrots, beets, strawberries, mangoes, oranges, or lowfat yogurt smoothies play a role in the plot, it’s just ignorant. And I have a feeling it’s not a kid’s show about fruits and veggies.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe kids who are obsessed with the show will beg their parents for a yogurt-based drink simply because the characters appear on it. Or maybe parents who try the beverage will try to get their kids to watch it, inspired by the partnership. Or maybe the main characters shop at Walmart, and fight enemies with carrot swords and fruit fireballs. Personally, I can’t see any of the above options being true, but I also haven’t spent thousands (or more) on market research that clearly said it was a good idea. So what do I know?
SIDE NOTE #2: Of all products, this one received a Private Label Manufacturers’ Association “Salute to Excellence” award in the “Fresh Juices & Smoothies” category. The vague “rules” and “process” notes on the official “winners” page of their website seem a little sketchy, but the organization seems to be one of the only ones dedicated to private label products. I have no point to make, it’s just a little tidbit of information that I found interesting.