Easy is rarely the cheapest. More often than not, you pay for convenience, and most people accept that. This is the reason why some people pony up for single-serve items even if they cost more per serving than buying a larger quantity and then portioning it out themselves. We see this with everything from kid’s crackers to adult coffee.
The same goes with drinks. If you have a kid, and you’re sending them off to school with lunch, you might send them with a cup of something you’d poured out of a larger container. Or, if you’re opting for convenience, you just might go with a single-serve drink that is already packaged for you.
Single-serve drinks for kids are undoubtedly popular, thanks to name brands like Capri Sun. They’re not only easy, but they often can be stored unopened at room temperature. While they taste better chilled, it’s also nice to know that a kid can put them in a lunch box without worrying about them spoiling.
Aldi has some private label options for single-serve kids’ drinks, including a Capri Sun dupe. The grocer also stocks these single serve boxes.
PurAqua Kids Fruit Punch Flavored Fruit Drinks are an Aldi Regular Buy. That means you can find them in stores all the time. At the time of this post, an 8-pack of the drinks costs $1.99. That comes out to about 25 cents a box, or about 3.7 cents per ounce. Aldi also sells an apple juice version of these drink boxes, but we haven’t tried that flavor yet.
Each box comes individually packaged with its own straw.
To call this a “fruit drink” is, I think, a generous statement. This isn’t a juice box, and it isn’t Capri Sun. It isn’t even Kool-Aid. It’s 5% fruit juice, with most of the rest being water. In other words, it’s a kid-sized version of infused water. That’s not automatically bad — we’ve written about infused water before — but if someone misreads the fine print, they’re liable to believe that this is something more than it is.
True to form, the primary ingredient on the nutrition information panel is water. Juices that are added, few as they are, include organic apple juice concentrate, organic lemon juice concentrate, and organic monk fruit extract. In addition, the box also includes organic rebaudioside, a highly purified form of the artificial sweetener stevia, as well as “organic natural flavors.”
Each box has 5 calories and 1 gram of total sugar.
We had our tasters try it out. The feedback was mixed. Two of our reviewers thought it was lacking in flavor but was overall okay. Another said it was better than expected. I personally found it to taste a little odd, and with a lingering aftertaste. All us prefer traditional infused water over this juice, and all of us also preferred fruit juice (even if it is higher in calories) over this.
There are some advantages to these boxes. They’re prepackaged for easy use and are low in calories. At just a few cents an ounce, they’re also relatively inexpensive given the convenience.
On the other hand, these aren’t juice. They’re water with some juice. They’re partially sweetened with a form of artificial sweetener stevia, which might be a consideration for some people. And our testers liked these less than either infused water or regular juice.
It’s possible some people may benefit from these. Perhaps kids who, for one reason or another, can’t drink juice but don’t just want water. Those people might benefit from these. For most people, though, I think you can do better than these, either by going with 100% juice or 100% water with or without infusion.