Value for Money Apple Juice

Centra €1.99 for 1 litre
Centra recently unveiled nearly a thousand new products that will sell under its own-brand label and has promised that they will be significantly cheaper than branded alternatives. Well, if they are all half as good as this juice, then Pricewatch will be only delighted. It is cloudy, as all good apple juices should be, and has a lovely, crisp apple flavour. It is not the cheapest juice we tried or even the cheapest of the fresh juices but we think it's a price worth paying.
Verdict: Excellent
Star rating: *****

Innocent €2.99 for 900ml
At the other end of the scale – in price terms if not quality – is this juice from a brand which has made it its business to be friendly and lovely and sweet and innocent. And incredibly expensive. There is no question that this is a very good juice – it is fresh and sharp and wholesome – but it is more than three times dearer than the Centra own-brand option, and virtually indistinguishable in taste terms. We like the fact that it gives 10 per cent of its profits to charity but here's a better idea. Buy the Centra option, put a euro in the charity box at the till, and you'll still be a euro better off than if you go with innocent.
Verdict: Lovely but not at this price
Star rating: ***

Santa Rosa €1.45 for 1 litre
This is a middle of the road apple juice that is fine without being outstanding. It is fresh and at this price is very good value. The carton tells us it was packaged in Donegal but we are given no clue as to the provenance of the apples inside. While the Centra and Innocent juice have a slightly thick consistency and are full of flavour, this is slightly more diluted and the flavours suffer as a result. It is nice and refreshing all the same, and we'd not be giving out if this found its way into our glass of a summer's day.
Verdict: Good value
Star rating: ****

Tesco €1.25 for 1 litre
Tesco did not stand a chance on this occasion. While all the other juices were not made from concentrate, this was and boy can you tell the difference. There is no zing, no sharpness and only the merest hint of apple flavours. While some people might appreciate its clearness, it was not for us. It is not even particularly cheap. It might appeal to kids but we'd prefer to see them drinking products that have been through a more natural production process. It does have a not-from-concentrate option for €2.09, which seems dear.
Verdict: In a different (lower) league
Star rating: **

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