Saturday, December 10, 2011

Derby Blue Succhi di... Qualcosa!!

Once in a while a bit of spleen venting becomes necessary. Today it became necessary. I just bought a bottle of Derby fruit juice. We like the Co-op’s peach and mango juice but I like coconut more, so when I saw a bottle of derby mango and coconut juice I whisked it off the shelf and into the trolley.
After a few hours in the fridge and with the addition of a few ice cubes and a straw (after 50 you start to regress to childhood, it’s quite legal) I opened it and poured a generous quantity into a tall glass and sat down to gaze at the mountains and concentrate on the taste explosion alluded to by the dancing figures on the front of the bottle.  However, it just tasted like a watered down version of apricot juice. How odd. I read the label a little closer. What it actually said was albiCOCCA (apricot), albi in smaller letters and different font -cocca in letters twice as high and MANGO in huge black block capitals. Cocco is coconut in italian and cocca is just the second half of albicocca. Not bothering to put my glasses on in the supermarket just to buy a bottle of juice I didn’t even see the albi- part probably because the wispy letters were so small  in comparison to the ‘COCCA’ part and the ‘a’ in cocca actually did look like an ‘o’ from my distant glassesless viewpoint. So the product looked like coco(nut) and Mango. My bad but in my defense who the crap divides up a word like apricot?  What a stupid way of doing things. But then I used to work for an advertising company so shouldn’t be surprised I suppose. Thinking about it, who the crap puts “unconventional fruit” in English on an Italian product too? Is mango unconventional? And what about “Frutta del Sabato sera” (Saturday night fruit)? Doesn’t that just sound like product advertisers desperately scraping the bottom of a very big barrel? Had me giggling though which is positive.
However, concentrating on the lack of taste explosion I noticed again that the taste was definitely and noticeably watered down apricot with a marked lack of mango taste. I examined the label again. Mango was written in bold capitals and from a distance stood out more than anything else leading me to presume (never presume Woozle!) the existence of a consistent mango-ey taste. So I read the ingredients. That’s when I exploded. Nobody in the house at the time thankfully. No damage to property either. I’m losing my explosive touch.
Ingredients: Water, Apricot puree 17%. (Sorry, what do you mean 17%? surely you mean 37%? or 47%! No? Oh! it really is 17%. Oh!  Oh well! To continue...) apple juice 11%, and.... mango puree ... wait for it... 2%. TWO PERCENT??!! WHAT THE F.... How can you call your product apricot and MANGO (in big bold capitals) when you have 11% apple juice and only 2% mango? Of course it doesn’t bloody taste of mangos, there aren’t any mangos in it. Call it apricot and apple. That there’s only 30% fruit in the product altogether is bad enough but  2% mango in a litre is nothing, that’s 20ml, or one and a third tablespoons of mango in a litre.  Maybe a better name would be ‘Derby Homeopathic Mango, and Apricot’.  How do they get away with this shit? They even have pictures of a mango and an apricot on the front of the bottle, not an apple in sight. How come the co-op is selling this stuff (I feel a letter coming on). 
But there’s more. Just above the ingredients the small print informs us that this is an alcohol free drink based on (warning bells ring) apricot, apple and mango, in that order (fruit 30%). So not a lot of fruit. But  why not put that on the front instead of hidden away on the side (rhet.)?
Anyhow. There’s even more. I turned the bottle round and discovered one of those ubiquitous signs of a worthless product worldwide, the fake label announcing to the world that this bottle of watery shit was “voted product of the year 2010, the Consumers Reward Innovation” award. INNOVATION!!! WHAT INNOVATION? 2% mango is not innovation. Watering down apricot juice, sorry, pulp, with apple juice is not innovation, it’s trades description violation.
Another little label informs us that the sample was on 8,014 consumers “on selected products”. Turns out that this actually is a real prize though about 40 other products won the same prize and of course the award applies to the whole range of derby blue products. Meaning of course that it’s real fake if you know what I mean. I didn’t see product range of the year mentioned anywhere. ‘Product’ of the year being singular and any normal brain would take that to mean referred to the product in hand, not the product line. Anyway NOBODY, nobody, not even you, can taste the bloody mango in this stuff I can guarantee that. So none of the 8,014 consumers probably even tasted the stuff. Just to give a comparison, co-op’s peach/mango has 32% peach and 10% mango and you can barely taste the mango in that. Lying cheating bastards.
Makes a mockery of trading standards and even more of a mockery of these Product of the Year nominations (which by the way, the companies have to pay four and a half grand for which explains EVERYTHING)? The words bordering on and fraudulent  spring to mind.
So, yet another company on my boycott list. 
As a post script I tried an experiment today. I added two tablespoons i.e. more than 2% of strong  blueberry juice to a liter of apricot juice to see if you could taste the blueberries. Anyone want to bet on the outcome?

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