Capri Sun turns to monk fruit to cut sugar by 40%

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: Capri Sun / KHC
Pic: Capri Sun / KHC

Related tags Capri sun

Capri Sun’s original juice drink pouches will now have an average of 40% less sugar, as the brand reformulates to use monk fruit concentrate in its drinks.

The reformulation across the portfolio reduces total sugars from an average of 13g to 8g per serving (a 6 fl oz pouch); and from 11g added sugar to 5g.

All flavors will hit retailer shelves this month with new packaging highlighting the reduction.

No change in taste

Capri Sun, a Kraft Heinz Company brand which has remained largely unchanged since its 1986 launch, says it spent several years perfecting the reformulation to achieve a significant decrease in sugar while maintaining the drink’s well-known taste.

“We did extensive consumer testing to ensure we have a recipe that was at parity or above consumer liking of our previous formula,” ​Erica Watkins, associate brand director for Capri Sun, told us.

“Consumers should not notice a difference in taste unless doing a direct head-to-head comparison of the old and reformulated drink at the same time where there may be a slight taste variation.

“We are confident that Capri Sun drinkers will enjoy the new formulation and feel comfortable sharing it with their kids more frequently because it now has an average of 40% less sugar per serving.”

The brand turned to monk fruit concentrate as a natural sweetener it sees gaining popularity in the food and beverage industry: with those natural credentials being all-important, says Watkins.

“Maintaining our commitment to all natural ingredients with no artificial colors, preservatives, or corn syrup AND the fruity, sweet taste consumers know, love, and expect was a top priority for our reformulation. We used monk fruit concentrate because it is an all-natural sweetener that delivers a clean, all-natural taste and works well with the fruitiness of Capri Sun.”

The move has been driven by parents’ ever-increasing focus to reduce their kids’ sugar intake, says the brand. But rather than aim to drive down sugar even further, Watkins notes that keeping a taste that consumers know and love has also been important for the brand.

“Reducing sugar has been a longtime goal of Capri Sun because it’s a pain point for our consumers, and it was critical for us to maintain our commitment to all natural ingredients and continue to deliver the taste that generations of kids have loved. 

“This project and formula required years of investment to identify the ingredient and recipe that unlocked our ability to maintain the taste of Capri Sun through all-natural ingredients while also reducing the amount of total and added sugar.”

Kraft Heinz Company has a goal to reduce the total sugar in its products by more than 60 million pounds across its global portfolio by 2025.  

This Capri Sun renovation will account for upwards of 50% of their sugar reduction goal and position the company to achieve it earlier than anticipated, likely around 2024.  ​ 

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