Thursday, November 19, 2020

Ian's Taste Test - Donald Duck Citrus World Juices

Around the time of Ian's birthday, as we were walking around the stores while in the refrigerated section, Ian saw a whole bunch of flavors of Donald Duck juice. 

Ian - I want to do a juice taste test for my birthday!

I think we can do something like that for you Ian. 

And so we purchased all 8 flavors of Donald Duck juice that they had. Pink Lemonade, Lemonade, Grape, Orange Juice, Apple Juice, Tropical Punch, Fruit Punch, and Kiwi Strawberry. 
Truthfully, these Disney juices have long been on my radar of things to try. Walking through the refrigerated juice section, I'd always see the Donald Duck Orange Juice. The Mickey Fruit Punch and Goofy Tropical Punch were less frequent, but because of the branding and since it was more than 1 thing, a taste test was eventually going to be in the cards. So when Ian found 8 different flavors of juice, of course we jumped at the chance to try them all. 

Since 1941, Citrus World Inc has partnered with the Walt Disney Company to produce the Donald Duck brand juices. In 1965, they made a promotional video which goes into the whole process of how they make the juice. It's pretty fun to watch how the whole process works, though the thoughts of where things are going in the future towards the end was interesting. Orange Juice crystals that when mixed with water, taste just as good as fresh squeezed juice. That didn't happen. 

With 8 different juices, there's a few different ways that we could sort them. 

Ian wanted to stack them up like this. 

Alli had other thoughts. The first was to group the different juices together. If they had an orange on it, those went together. Or if it had a lemon, those are grouped together. 

In the end, she decided on a color grouping, from dark orange, light orange, yellow, pink, reds, and then finally purple. That's perfect Alli. We'll use that one. 

Everyone was excited to taste test the juices that Donald Duck was willing to put his face on. 

Hey Ian, how good are these juices for you? Taking a look at the calories should give us some idea of which ones should have the most flavor. The table took guesses as to which ones have the highest calorie count per bottle. 

I see that the Apple Juice and Orange Juice have 290 calories in the 20oz bottle, while all the other bottles have between 40 and 50 calories. I wonder how they make up the difference? According to the labels, Sucralose, also known as Splenda, is used to sweeten things up. 

Okay Ian, let's start things off with a good one! 

First up is the Donald Duck Apple Juice!

Everyone has their own tasting cup. I poured everyone a couple ounces and we went around the table commenting. 

The Apple Juice is just what you'd expect. It's juice from concentrate, which is fine, but not the best. I think we're a bit spoiled in our juice tastes with our trips to the Apple Orchards and their fresh cider juices. 

Next up is this Tropical Punch juice. Ian correctly identified the 3 different flavors in this one from the picture on the label. The ingredient list on the back confirms that this does indeed have Orange, Mango, and Pineapple juices in it. And I thought this might be the same as Goofy's Tropical Punch from up above, but even though the picture on the front shows the same 3 fruits, the ingredient list of Goofy's Tropical Punch adds apple and grape juices too. 
As to the flavor, Theresa and I thought it tasted similar to the fruit juice you might get when you check in to a tropical resort. Our main complaint about this one is that it tastes really watered down. If you've had juice from a breakfast buffet, think something like that. There's 10% fruit juice in here, so that's not particularly surprising. 

Next is the juice that started it all with Donald. The original Donald Duck Orange Juice. It's 100% juice, though it is from concentrate. 
The table gave it a taste and Ian said "This is airplane juice." Yep, that's a pretty good comparison buddy. Concentrated juice always has a particular flavor. 

Alright, moving on to the Lemonade. We've been making our own homemade lemonade all summer from juice that we've squeezed ourselves. We know what good lemonade tastes like. This... Are there even lemons in here? Put a blindfold on me and have me taste this, I would have a hard time telling you what flavor this liquid is. The label says there is 10% Lemon Juice in here but it certainly doesn't taste like it. It doesn't even have that fake lemon flavor of the Minute Maid juices that you get from a self-serve soda fountain. Donald, what are you doing? 

After tasting the regular Lemonade, we didn't have much hope for the Pink Lemonade either. Normally I think of pink lemonade having a different flavor than regular lemonade. Strawberry, raspberry, or something else. After a sip, we confirmed, this is the same flavor as the Lemonade above. Just a different color. The ingredient list on the back says the same thing, except it does give the origins of the pink coloring. Cochineal Extract and Carmine. Hey, wait a minute. I've heard of those before. Those were in the news a few years ago in a story about Starbucks. People weren't happy to learn that the red coloring in their frothy pink beverages were made from... ground-up insect shells!

It's all approved by the FDA, and it's in plenty of other products we eat regularly I'm sure. I just thought it was funny to show a picture of a Cochineal to the kids and let them know their juice was colored with ground-up bugs! It's a learning experience and a taste test!

For our next juice, Donald has brought us a Fruit Punch. The front label shows 3 fruits, Apple, Grape, and Orange. Below that though it says there's a Four Fruit Juice Cocktail, so we check the ingredient list and see that Pineapple is the fourth flavor. And the flavor... again, it's very weak. Theresa likened it to Kool-Aid that isn't very strong or sweet. 

For our next juice, Donald is tempting us with a Kiwi-Strawberry, though it also says it's a Four Juice Cocktail. Tasting it, it actually does have a strawberry flavor. That's surprising because when it comes to the ingredients, there's: Water, Concentrated Apple Juice, Concentrated Grape Juice, Natural Flavors, Fruit and Vegetable Juice (for Color), Concentrated Kiwi Juice, Concentrated Strawberry Juice. 
Kiwi and Strawberry and the last on the ingredient list, even behind what they use for colors. 

Alright, time for our last juice. Donald Duck Grape (flavored juice cocktail). I've had some tasty Welch's juices that make your cheeks pucker. 
Alli smelled this after I poured it into her cup.
Alli - It smells like medicine!
Is that a good thing or a bad thing? 
For everyone else, that's a bad thing. Ian went around asking if people wanted him to pour the contents of their glass into the sink. Eww. 

Well after all that, I think Theresa summed it up pretty well. 
Theresa - Those are worse than I thought they would be. 
Grandpa - Those were quackers. 

After all that, can anyone really pick a favorite? Votes were gathered around the table and 5 votes went to the Donald Duck Apple Juice. Alli was the exception, choosing to vote for Donald Duck Grape. 

Well, now that we've tried them. I don't think we need to try them again!


  1. "Those were quackers!"...catchy description for the disappointing taste test. At least the labels are cute :-) Such serious expressions on the adults as they do the taste test! Some good thinking exercises for the kids when trying to decide how to sort the bottles..."bugs" in the juice (yikes!...but a good learning experience :-) ) Amazing how fast and accurate the machines work to turn out the juice products...just one little hiccup would really mess up that production line. EOM

  2. I have looked everywhere I can for the Donald duck lemonade but can't seem to find it. My grand daughter had ask for only Donald duck lemon aid. Please help!!!!

  3. When I was a kid (the 90s) I loved Donald duck orange juice. I still crave it. But it only came in a can. Idk if it would taste the same out of plastic or a carton. I'm tempted to find it now.

    1. It’s still good in the bottle, just drink it really cold

  4. I like the on been around since I was a kid. But then again I like on with a lot of pulp. What's oh with no pulp water..