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Capri Sun® is a brand of fruit juice drink that is perhaps most well known for its silver, stand-up pouch packaging. The silver pouch is a trademark of the company that makes it, and it has made these drinks instantly and universally recognizable. It has also made the drink popular, especially among parents and children, as the design makes it easily portable.
A variety of flavors of Capri Sun® fruit-flavored drinks are available, including fruit punch, strawberry kiwi, lemonade, grape, and red berry. Flavored water and 100% juice varieties are also produced under this brand name.
The idea for this product was conceived by the WILD Company in Germany in 1966. It took three years for the company to develop then perfect the pouch packaging system, after which it was launched as Capri Sonne® in Germany. In 1976, the products were first exported to other countries in Europe. They were first sold in Asia in 1979 and in the United States in 1981.
Today, Capri Sun® is produced in 18 countries, either by the WILD Company or through licensees. It is estimated that 5 billion pouches are sold every year in approximately 100 countries around the world.
While the drinks have achieved worldwide popularity, there has been controversy over their trademark packaging, which is not recyclable. The pouches are composed of a composite foil and contain aluminum and polyethylene. Taking the estimated annual sales into consideration, there are potentially 5 billion non-recyclable pouches per year that must be disposed of worldwide.
The Kraft Corporation, the US licensee, has partnered with a company that makes purses, backpacks, tote bags, lunch totes and pencil cases out of the used drink pouches. Many schools and organizations have also partnered up with this company as part of a fundraiser program. The company pays $0.02 US Dollars (USD) to the charity of the donor’s choice per pouch that is turned in.
Capri Sun® beverages have also been criticized for the amount of sugar in them, and for the use of high fructose corn syrup in drinks sold in the United States. In the US, Kraft Corporation stopped using high fructose corn syrup in the drinks, and they are now sweetened with sugar. In addition, Kraft is now touting this brand as having 25% less sugar than other comparable drinks on the market.
While Capri Suns are tasty and portable (especially for kids), they are really sugary, 25 percent less or not. They don't have a lot of juice in them, either. Kids love them because they're sweet and fruity tasting, but parents shouldn't be fooled into thinking they're doing something that healthy for their kids. They're really not. Just compare the calories and carbohydrates in a Capri Sun packet to those in 100 percent juice in a similar amount. The results will surprise you.
I mean, the occasional Capri Sun isn’t going to ruin a child’s health for good, but they should be considered treats, not a regular means of hydration.