Value for Money: Smoothies
There are many shop-bought smoothies out there, but which is the best?
Innocent Kids, €1.99 for 4 x 180ml, €2.76 per litre
This is one of a small number of shop-bought smoothies not made with at least some concentrated fruit juices and that is very much to its credit. It is currently half price in Tesco and at €1.99 for a four-pack it is very good value for money. Although we are not so sure its full price of €3.99 would be as easy to swallow. The mix of strawberries, blackberries and raspberries had a pleasing sharpness and while there is a lot of sugar in the mix – as there is in all smoothies – it does come with a feelgood factor.
Verdict: Pleasantly refreshing
Star rating: * * * *
Del Rivo from Aldi, €2.19 for 4 x 200ml ,€2.73 per litre
While the price of this private label product and Innocent’s branded one is virtually identical now, over the course of a school year, when the special offers are over, this will work out at around half the price. So if a family opts for the Aldi version for two children’s lunchboxes, between now and the end of June it would save in excess of €120 – which is not to be sniffed at. The smoothie is made with juices from concentrate which may be why it has an every so slightly artificial flavour. It was also the sweetest tasting of the smoothies we tried. Kids seem to love it, mind you.
Verdict: Good value in the long term
Star rating: * * *
Naked Blue Machine Blueberry Smoothie, €2.99 for 450ml, €6.60 per litre
The obvious advantage this has is size and at 450ml you get more than twice as much as other shop-bought options. Of course, if you are not greedy like Pricewatch that may not be such a good thing. Inside the bottle you get – the makers tell us – 74 blueberries, five blackberries, more than three apples and almost two bananas. That seems like an awful lot of fruit to us. In taste terms, this was good but we are not sure how practical it would be in a lunchbox and it is pretty pricey.
Verdict: Nice but . . .
Star rating: * *
The DIY Smoothie, €7.57 for 1 litre (approx)
We put 125g of blueberries (€1.79), 300g of strawberries (€2.49), 125g of raspberries (€1.79), and a ½ litre of freshly-squeezed (but shop-bought) orange juice (€1.50) into a Nutribullet and got roughly one litre of homemade smoothie. It is easy to make and tastes wonderfully fresh – largely because it is as fresh as a smoothie can possibly be. It obviously comes with added feelgood factor but you do need a Nutribullet (or some class of blender) and the time to put it all together. And if you are planning to put it in a lunchbox you will need something to decant it into. While it is the dearest option, it is not as expensive as you might think.
Verdict: Impossible to beat
Star rating: *****