This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I have been packing lunches for more than 15 years, with at least 10 more to go. I like to think that I know an awful lot about packing lunches. I know of course to start with a protein, being either a sandwich, soup, pasta – whatever my kids want. I am often amazed at how many days in a row they can eat a peanut butter sandwich. I add in either a fruit, a vegetable, or both, a granola bar or cookie, and a snack – either for during school or after, and a drink.
In the beginning of my mothering/lunch packing career, I chose juice boxes. But I quickly grew disenchanted with them. They didn't seem to hold that much, there's no way to recycle them, and they were very expensive. Plus, I wanted to get away from all the sugar in my kids diets. It was about this time that I started a weight-loss journey, and changed the food that my family eats in large ways. So we became known as the "water bottle" family. My kids always took a water bottle, and for many years, it was sufficient. But lately, my shorties have been asking for drinks. Water just isn't cutting it. So I've had to make a compromise – which, really, is what parenting is all about, isn't it?
Because I do not let my kids drink things neon colored, full of sugar, or full of things I cannot pronounce, they can have 100% juice, or something that is not full of fake things. And, sometimes, that could be more difficult to find then you might imagine.
I was invited to visit the Capri Sun factory, in Tarrytown New York, and I went, because one of the things that I do allow them to pack for lunch is Capri Sun. I really wanted to see what the company stood for, what they meant, and what they plan to do about giving our kids healthy beverage choices – and all of their PR lately has not been positive, so I was interested to see how they would address that as well.
Capri Sun, which was known in it's early days as Capri Sonne, was in its infancy a German company. Invented by Dr. Hans Peter Wilde in 1969, the basic premise of the company is the same as today – create a drink for kids to enjoy, with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Fruit punch is not really bright red. Lemonade is not really neon yellow. There's no such drink flavor in nature as Lime Surprise, with its neon colors – instead, Capri Sun offers juices that are all natural, and come in their naturally occurring colors and flavors.
In the late 60s, Dr. Wild, the German founder of Capri Sonne, invented a great tasting kids drink in a fun pouch. He wanted it to be kid loved/mom approved. The name "Capri Sun" came about because a lot of people in Germany summered in Italy, especially in the Capri Islands. The drink was named after the Island of Capri, and the first flavor was orange.
Orange just like the sun.
Dr. Wild decided that his selling point would be no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no preservatives. The product was sold in Germany, and came to the United States in the early 80s. It didn't go well, and was not a popular product, until 1991, when the product line was bought by Kraft.
And we all know what happened once Kraft purchased Capri Sun. You get a Capri Sun, and you get a Capri Sun - Capri Sun for EVERYONE! :)
This "soccer line" standard is sold in virtually the same formulation as the very beginning. In the United States close to 5 billion pouches are sold every year.
The German company and the United States company work together in development and consumer input, but they are not both owned by Kraft. Many of the flavors are sold in both Europe and the United States, but there are many differences. Case in point? In Germany, they sell a drink called "faerie drink". Imagine how fun that would be – going to a birthday party with a three-year-old girl, who is given a pouch of "Faerie drink".
Personally, I think it's a concept we need to investigate in United States.
Capri Sun is always evolving, always changing, and always listening to the input of their consumers. They are constantly on the search for new ideas, new products, new innovations. It takes six months to one year to develop a new flavor.
This video is a prime example of new and fun:
That kid kills me. I fully expect to see him somewhere big in ten years.
Do you pack Capri Sun pouches for your kids - or, for you? There is a new product on the market for the big kids - called the Big Pouch, with 11.2 fluid ounces of teen approved flavors. I know that they were teen approved because I didn't like 'em - and when I bought them, my kids scarfed them down and immediately added them to the list.
My personal favorite? The Super V, with vegetable juice. Which completely doesn't taste like vegetable juice. :)
There are many flavor options, and even more product lines - Roarin' Waters, which is a splenda sweetened water beverage - not my personal favorite for my kids, as I try to avoid artificial sweeteners in them (and yes, I know the whole "Splenda is made from sugar! controversy), Super V - a vegetable and fruit blend, and 100% juice - what I buy if I'm not buying Super V.
What flavor would you like to see Capri Sun create?