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Taking A Stand on Fresh Fruit

It’s hard for us to even wrap our minds around this, but this week we learned that PepsiCo Tropicana has begun testing this new portable kids’ snack called Tropicana Tropolis™ – “a smooth blend of real squeezable fruit, packed with nutrition, designed for kids.”

*Sigh* Where to begin?

Grist takes a first stab at this product by wondering why we need our fruit mashed up in “portable” form. “Aren’t apples and grapes already pretty portable snacks that are ‘designed to fit in lunchboxes and small hands’?” Grist asks sensibly.

Then there’s the issue that it costs more than real fruit, and there’s all of that energy spent processing it, plus the waste from the packaging.

But what turned us off the most was the cynical, “Made With Moms In Mind” line of promotion. “Moms have fond memories of Tropicana from their own childhoods, and our hope is that this new nutritious snack will give them yet another way to give their children fruit goodness,” says a Tropicana vice president of marketing.

Who are these moms with fond memories of processed fruit coming in a pouch? Most of us, when trying to conjure up fruit-related memories, harken back to things like those first-picked summer strawberries, luscious ripe peaches, or crisp fall apples.

We can’t even imagine how little they must think of moms if they think that we want – or need – some hyper-processed fruit replacement for our kids. Perhaps it’s because of this line of marketing that we can’t even stomach the idea of taste-testing these things. Instead, we’re taking a stand: We’re going to serve even more fresh fruit than before, and we’ll marvel at the flavor, convenience, and portability of Mother Nature’s original snacks. We’ll serve it at every playdate. We’ll bring it to every school event. Come to think of it, we’re hosting a birthday party later this month and we’ll attempt to go overboard with fresh fruit – heaps of it on every table. The perfect food for creating childhood memories.

Bring on the fruit!

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3 Responses to Taking A Stand on Fresh Fruit

  1. Maryann January 4, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    I totally agree with you on this. Most kids readily accept fresh fruit. It is the easiest food to serve and take as a snack. Will post on my facebook page!

  2. jollytomato January 4, 2011 at 11:55 pm #

    Thanks, Maryann. Of all the difficulties I’ve had getting kids to try new foods, I’ve never had a problem with them wanting to eat fruit. That’s why this is such a head-scratcher for me. It’s like taking the simplest possible food and making it even more complex and wasteful. But I know I’m preaching to the choir here… : )

  3. jenna Food w/ Kid Appeal January 14, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    is this just another package design for applesauce?

    you what happens with some moms? they give baby food from jars. they fall in love with the convenience of nutrition in individual servings.
    so they graduate to gerber graduates. then to lunchables and things like tropolis. it’s been years since i’ve been near a baby aisle in the store, but a friend told me about a product near the baby food that’s in a similar shaped package, but it’s fruit and veggie puree. perhaps this is tropicana’s way of capturing that market share for older kids. kids who never graduated from banana puree to bananas.

    not every child has a parent who can cook. if you don’t cook, you don’t know how to buy “ingredients” you only know how to buy ready made “meals.” Fruit pouch is more their thinking than apple or grapes.

    isn’t this what michelle obama asked for when she asked food manufactures to make food that kids would go crazy for that was actually good for them?

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