Don’t worry, I’ve not become a mummy blagger – I’ve not sold my soul for some Duplo or a free holiday. But I have been given a ton of free drinks to experiment on my children with and tell you if they survived, went mental for a bit, or were merely hydrated in a fruity manner.
The Gerber juice company has launched a range of fruit drinks and squashes with Lazy Town branding. Lazy Town, but that’s not on CBeebies these days? Well perhaps it’s on one of those channels that the lower orders use to babysit their children while having a fag, I suppose it breaks up the monotony of Ben10 episodes and adverts for cheap plastic tat.
Some of you may be wondering what Lazy Town is? It’s an Icelandic blend of puppets, preaching, homo eroticism, jail bait and thinly veiled propaganda for the fruit production industry.
But are the drinks any good?
We were sent two different products. Fit fruits are sold in packs of three 200ml cartons. They are available in three flavours; apple and blackcurrant, lemon and lime and orange and peach. These are 75 percent juice drinks rather than pure juice, but we’re told this means they are in lower in sugar than just juice. Is that a good thing, are we scared of fruit sugars? I’m undecided on that. But at least the products seem based on natural ingredients with no added sugars, sweeteners or preservatives.
Our five year old twins thought Christmas had come early as we let them take a carton to school each day for a week rather than their usual bottle of water. Our daughter – who normally wouldn’t touch anything with lemon in – even enjoyed the lemon and lime flavour. Our three year old liked the apple and blackcurrant one best, and told us that “me liked dems” and “dems is yummy in my tummy”. So you can’t argue with that can you?
So far it’s pretty standard stuff. More interest though was the Super Squash we were also sent. These apple and raspberry, pink lemonade and orange and peach squashes do not contain any stabilisers or preservatives. The squashes will be sold in a 1.5 litre carton which should be refrigerated after opening and kept for just 21 days.
Once diluted with some water these squashes also contain 75 percent fruit juice giving a “portion of fruit” per 250ml glass. The children were less keen on these but I think that was purely down to the lack of carton/straw based excitement. If you want to excite a three year old with a drink you’d better give it to them in a bottle with a top like Fort Knox.
So what did we think of the products? The drinks themselves did seem to be of high quality and were tasty, relying on their flavour from real fruits. We were less keen on the packaging and marketing. We think the Lazy Town branding and art design makes the Fit Fruits and Super Squashes look cheap and nasty.
As my wife said, if she’d seen them on the store shelf and not known what was in them she’d never picked them up at all. TV/movie tie-in branding is generally rather naff and often the preserve of shit shovellers like McDonalds. Sticking Sportacus’ grinning boat-race on a box of squash doesn’t exactly make one want to give it a good suck really. Contrast this artwork to the more tasteful approach of Innocent1 for example.
I’m also not very impressed with the reliance on the “part of your five a day” malarky on the packaging. Obviously eating fruit and vegetables is important in a healthy balanced diet, but the whole “five a day” campaign has been debunked as unscientific marketing nonsense.
Any road up, if you are looking for genuinely fruit-based drinks for your children it’s worth giving the Lazy Town gloop a look. The Fit Fruits are already available at Asda, Sainsbury’s and oddly at Amazon. The Super Squashes will be coming soon. You may find though that there are equally fruity cheaper alternatives available thanks to not needing to pay Magnús “Sportacus” Scheving for his mustachioed mug.
So in conclusion, nice drinks, the children really liked them – but the marketing/artwork is very much geared to the Asda crowd2.
I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network, a group of parent bloggers picked by Mumsnet to review products, services, events and brands. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity3.
1Who could be selling us industrial bleach, crack and dog turds for all I know, but the marketing is so wonderfully middle class.
2Don’t act like you don’t know what I mean, snooty posh MILFs.
3Neither was I felated, nor given a ride in a Lamborghini, more’s the pity. Companies, at least try to break my journalistic integrity, such as it is.