Watch the hype

Everyone is jumping on the Acai bandwagon and using the same catch phrases of "nutrient-dense" and "high antioxidants". Each also comes with marketing hype and claims to be "the only" this or that. For example, Bossa Nova says " is the only juice that lives up to the superfruit promise." And also says "more açai juice per ounce than any other juice".

Unfortunately they can get away with statements like these because most people aren't going to compare each competitive juice deeply. Nor will most people read between the lines of what is really being said, and wasn't isn't really being said. For example, the first Bossa Nova statement of "the only juice" to live up to the "superfruit promise" is essentially a meaningless statement. What promise? Whose promise? What juices are they comparing themselves to and which ones have they not compared themselves to? To me that's just marketing speak, and virtually every single competitive juice makes similar statements.

On the other hand, they make two claims that I personally take issue with. One is that they have "more acai juice per ounce". Really? Since there are many supposedly "100% Acai juice" brands on the market, how can they say this when their 2nd ingredient is "agave", a sugar-like substance... which is essentially sugar. And this leads to the second claim I take issue with:

When talking about competitors they say "A quick glance at the ingredient list of other brands has us scratching our heads: What do white grape, pineapple, apple and evaporated cane juice have to do with antioxidants? Not much. They are all inexpensive ways to inflate juice content, but do little more than pile on sugar. At Bossa Nova we never use cheap juice fillers. They take up precious space reserved for açai."

Really? Well, let's go back to ingredient #2 on their label "agave" which is form of sugar. Why would you bash a juice that uses a juice to sweeten it when you use agave? It makes no sense except to unsuspecting people who buy the marketing hype.

One last thing that appears misleading to me. The top of their bottles say "nature's highest antioxidant fruit". Below that is the name Bossa Nova. To me this looks like they are saying that Bossa Nova is the "highest antioxidant fruit" when in fact that they can only legally and ethically be refering to the Acai berry. Unfortunately it's clear from their own ORAC charts that their Acai is very weak in ORAC at only 167 on the ORAC scale. The 2006 PubMed study of "OptiAcai" came in at 1026 and other Acai in that study was in the 150 to 300 range. So Bossa Nova doesn't appear to have "the highest antioxidant fruit" despite the claim on the label.

I don't mean to pick on Bossa Nova. I'm just pointing out that you can't just read a label or marketing hype and assume you've got the facts. Every juice out there uses the word "only" when they make a claim, unfortunately few of these claims can be substantiated, or have any real meaning. Next time you hear "hype", asked "compared to what" and dig deeper.

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