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#1
Old 06-13-2012, 06:03 PM
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Why are single serve drink packets sugar-free only?

While shopping last week, I noticed the single serve to go packets. I noticed they were labeled "low calorie" and were sugar free using either sucralose, aspartame or stevia. As I'm allergic to aspartame and find sucralose metallic, I bought a mango pineapple packet with stevia. I sure didn't taste the fruit flavoring only a vaguely sweet taste. Why are these things available with sugar?

I know they're trying to focus on the fitness angle and "sugar is bad," but that cuts out half your market. "To go" doesn't have to just mean the gym, it can mean my car and I just want something besides a soda.
#2
Old 06-13-2012, 06:11 PM
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Sugar is quite bulky compared to its substitutes.
#3
Old 06-13-2012, 06:11 PM
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They'd be too big with real sugar.
#4
Old 06-13-2012, 06:15 PM
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Yeah, check out the size difference between Kool Aid packets with sugar and without.
#5
Old 06-13-2012, 06:36 PM
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Sugar also is more difficult todissolve in cold water. It will, but it's a pain compared to the instantness of substitutes.
#6
Old 06-13-2012, 07:14 PM
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Country Time Lemonade makes single-serve packets with sugar, but I think only one grocery store in my area carries them. I really don't like the taste of artificial sweeteners, so I always check to see if there are any sugar-sweetened options.
#7
Old 06-14-2012, 12:19 PM
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Because nine tenths of their target market is women on Weight Watchers who are struggling to drink all the water they are supposed to drink.

I am only partly kidding.
#8
Old 06-14-2012, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cher3 View Post
Because nine tenths of their target market is women on Weight Watchers who are struggling to drink all the water they are supposed to drink.

I am only partly kidding.
For the 2L packets, I would agree (at least that seems to be how Crystal Light is marketed).

However, for the "single-serves", which I think are meant to go into 20-ounce/600ml water bottles, I think it's more for the people who would normally carry a 600ml bottle of water with them, usually while exercising, and want something besides water but without calories (which would defeat the purpose of drinking water in the first place). If they wanted 600ml of a sugary drink, there are already plenty of options available.
#9
Old 06-14-2012, 02:04 PM
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Crystal Light has a "Pure" line that uses real sugar. The packets are about twice the size.
#10
Old 06-14-2012, 04:51 PM
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NM.

Last edited by Skald the Rhymer; 06-14-2012 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Misunderstood OP.
#11
Old 06-14-2012, 06:04 PM
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I have one of the big manufacturers of the stuff as a client.

There's two reasons:

1) As has already been pointed out, sugar's a lot bulkier than artificial sweetener, and would require a substantially bigger package. (According to their web site, Crystal Light Pure, which RetroVertigo mentioned, uses Truvia, not sugar, btw.)

2) There's simply not a lot of demand. Most of the users of "sugared" soft drink mixes (like Kool-Aid and Country Time) are families with kids, and they go through it by the gallon. They aren't, generally, looking for the "on the go" packets (which are more expensive, on a per-serving basis) when they drink so much of it.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 06-14-2012 at 06:06 PM.
#12
Old 06-15-2012, 08:13 PM
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In addition to all of the above, a major problem when packaging powdered things is keeping them away from moisture. Sugar sucks up water like nobody's business, and makes powders containing it clump and recrystallize and do all kinds of other annoying things -- think brown sugar. Artificial sweeteners, including sucralose, tend to not be hygroscopic, which eliminates the problem.

Also, not being food (i.e., not containing any calories of consequence), artificial sweeteners likely don't have a problem with growing mold and other ickiness even if water does make its way into the packages.
#13
Old 06-15-2012, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arabella Flynn View Post
In addition to all of the above, a major problem when packaging powdered things is keeping them away from moisture. Sugar sucks up water like nobody's business, and makes powders containing it clump and recrystallize and do all kinds of other annoying things -- think brown sugar. Artificial sweeteners, including sucralose, tend to not be hygroscopic, which eliminates the problem.
Still, stores sell plenty of powdered drinks that do contain sugar (Nestle's Quik, Kool-Aid, some lemonades, cocoas, iced teas, etc.) so I'm not sure why that would be a hurdle to packaging more of them in single-serve portions.
#14
Old 06-16-2012, 01:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangent View Post
Still, stores sell plenty of powdered drinks that do contain sugar (Nestle's Quik, Kool-Aid, some lemonades, cocoas, iced teas, etc.) so I'm not sure why that would be a hurdle to packaging more of them in single-serve portions.
Canisters of Kwik and Kool-Aid don't generally get jammed in your sports bag or the bottom of your coat pocket. Travel-food is usually subject to worse conditions than cabinet-food.

I'm sure the marketing reasons cited above are why most of them don't have real sugar, but the fact that sugar doesn't travel as well might have something to do with the fact that there don't seem to be any at all.
#15
Old 06-16-2012, 04:30 PM
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I wish that someone made unsweetened single serve packs of iced tea. I assume there is little or no demand aside from me, though.
#16
Old 06-16-2012, 04:57 PM
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Actually, I'm with you on that. Unsweetened iced tea is my drink of choice but, heck, I can't even find it in individual bottles or cans, let alone single-serve powdered packets.
#17
Old 06-16-2012, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangent View Post
Actually, I'm with you on that. Unsweetened iced tea is my drink of choice but, heck, I can't even find it in individual bottles or cans, let alone single-serve powdered packets.
Both Arizona and Honest Tea do.

I try to carry at least one unsweetened tea in my store since I always have customers looking for it.

I'm not sure about packets. I know Arizona makes a half and half lite in single serving packets but if you check in the Kool-aid section in your grocery store and/or the tea section you might be able to find something.
#18
Old 06-16-2012, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
Both Arizona and Honest Tea do.
Good to know and I'll keep an eye out, but I've looked among the Arizona offerings in my local stores and none of them carry unsweetened single-serves.
#19
Old 06-16-2012, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Tangent View Post
Good to know and I'll keep an eye out, but I've looked among the Arizona offerings in my local stores and none of them carry unsweetened single-serves.
The tallboys (the tall plastic bottles) are somewhat new. Keep keeping an eye out and they might start showing up. If not, ask. If you shop at any smaller stores they may very well bring it in if you ask for it. If you took a case they'll almost for sure bring it in for you. (24 to a case of Arizona BTW).

Also, I don't know where you are or if Arizona uses more then one bottler, but if you ever get any tallboys and all labels fall off. That's normal. I don't know why, but Arizona hasn't really mastered the art of keeping them on. It doesn't mean they've been sitting around for months.

Last edited by Joey P; 06-16-2012 at 05:36 PM.
#20
Old 06-17-2012, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorgirl View Post
I wish that someone made unsweetened single serve packs of iced tea. I assume there is little or no demand aside from me, though.
Most people buy unsweetened tea so that they can sweeten it themselves to their desired sweetness level, very few drink it completely unsweetened. With single servings, it's unlikely that the customer has a source of sweetener nearby so this typically isn't possible.
#21
Old 06-18-2012, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
I have one of the big manufacturers of the stuff as a client.

There's two reasons:

1) As has already been pointed out, sugar's a lot bulkier than artificial sweetener, and would require a substantially bigger package. (According to their web site, Crystal Light Pure, which RetroVertigo mentioned, uses Truvia, not sugar, btw.)

2) There's simply not a lot of demand. Most of the users of "sugared" soft drink mixes (like Kool-Aid and Country Time) are families with kids, and they go through it by the gallon. They aren't, generally, looking for the "on the go" packets (which are more expensive, on a per-serving basis) when they drink so much of it.
Sorry about that, I was trying to do it from memory. Now that my wife bought some from the store store I see that it has both sugar and Truvia in the ingredients. Never noticed that before.

Last edited by RetroVertigo; 06-18-2012 at 12:23 PM. Reason: grammar
#22
Old 06-20-2012, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangent View Post
Actually, I'm with you on that. Unsweetened iced tea is my drink of choice but, heck, I can't even find it in individual bottles or cans, let alone single-serve powdered packets.
Lipton Pureleaf tea in bottles comes unsweetened, but it's hard to find. I'm lucky because the convenience store I go to most often has it. Just make sure the bottle says "unsweetened" and not "regular" because the latter is basically brown sugar water :X
#23
Old 06-20-2012, 05:08 PM
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^Actually, I just saw some of that Pureleaf in the grocery store yesterday, but the price was outrageous--like $8 for a six-pack. Jeez, the twelve-packs of their sweetened tea was only about $7.
#24
Old 06-22-2012, 09:39 PM
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Most, if not all, flavors of Emergen-C have sugar. Depending on where you are it may only be sold in boxes of single-serving packets. Trader Joe's sells boxes; a deli near my work sells single packets; a local food co-op sells both single packets and boxes of packets.
#25
Old 06-23-2012, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by kivrin View Post
Most, if not all, flavors of Emergen-C have sugar. Depending on where you are it may only be sold in boxes of single-serving packets. Trader Joe's sells boxes; a deli near my work sells single packets; a local food co-op sells both single packets and boxes of packets.
Odd. I had a roommate who swore by the stuff. She offered me some once when I was sick and I had to decline because they had aspartame, which is a migraine trigger for me. I'm pretty sure it was the actual brand-name "Emergen-C" and not a knock-off, but I could well be wrong.
#26
Old 06-23-2012, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Shalmanese View Post
Most people buy unsweetened tea so that they can sweeten it themselves to their desired sweetness level, very few drink it completely unsweetened. With single servings, it's unlikely that the customer has a source of sweetener nearby so this typically isn't possible.
I suppose that makes sense. But it also reinforces that I am in the minority and unlikely to get what I really want.
#27
Old 06-23-2012, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Motorgirl View Post
I suppose that makes sense. But it also reinforces that I am in the minority and unlikely to get what I really want.
I'm in the minority with you. But since I really wanted the packets for when I'm at work and have access to a water cooler and cups, I buy cold brew tea bags. It wouldn't work if wanted to keep the packets in the car and buy bottled water throughout the day.
#28
Old 06-23-2012, 11:56 AM
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I looked at the ingredients on the Emergen-C I've got and for maximum crazy it has BOTH sugar and aspartame. So, if you avoid aspartame for the taste, you're golden, but if you have a sensitivity to it, you're out of luck.
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