Blog entries

The Great Juice Challenge

Posted in OlyCOOL—the premier-ish guide to Olympia.

We are fans of Haggen, here at Team OlyCOOL. Olympia isn’t exactly a haven for amazing grocery stores, but Haggen has it down, being all semi-local-ish and all, too. I will defend their store brand to my death.

We are also fans of challenges here, potentially more so than what one would call healthy. I’m not going to go into the homebrew contests and spicy food challenges we’ve organized before, but let it be known: we take it all very seriously.

What better time, then, to kick things off, with a contest for the ages: Haggen’s orange juice from concentrate, versus the Donald Duck(’s) juice. Yes, both are from concentrate, and thus from bottom of the juice barrel (Sunny D aside). My thesis here, is to prove that Haggen will beat a generic orange juice (albeit one with a first rate mascot), no problem. As a control, we have Haggen’s premium orange juice. You know, the kind you keep in the fridge to impress your friends and relatives.

So, let’s start with Donald.

Its instant advantage is the comic strip on the box; classic 1940s stuff from Al Taliaferro. Not even Haggen can compete with that.

The actual juice, meanwhile, is not too bad, actually. It has that watered down mouthfeel juices from concentrates tend to have, but the flavor could be a lot worse. There’s a citric kick, of sorts, and it feels close to a “real” glass of orange juice. As far as a concentrate goes, we give Donald a good pass, with a bonus point for the comic strip.

Then we have Haggen… Haggen, Haggen, Haggen… We still love you, but this juice just is not very good. At all. It is way watered down, and the hints of citrus are just that. Hints. With Donald you feel like you are drinking something of substance (while reading a classic strip), but Haggen only delivers something that’s–alas–way too thin.

How do they stack up against the Haggen control then? Some might jump to the conclusion that the store’s premium brands being :( too, but that’s definitely not the case. Haggen’s real juice stands tall compared to most “premium” brands. Donald, meanwhile, came closer than I had expected. Clearly it is not on the same level, but it holds its own. It’s a juice that can be respected.

Haggen’s other juice, meanwhile, kind of bites the dirt. That kind of saddens me, but then, we can turn this on its head, and say that Haggen only cares about being a premium brand.

Conclusion, then: Go with Haggen’s premium juice. I mean, really, why wouldn’t you? It’s like fifty cents more than Donald. If, however, you want a side of comics with your juice, then the Taliaferro strips tend to be quite funny, and goes well with an OK beverage.