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Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Trader Joe's Sparkling Strawberry Juice Beverage

I've always been a tinfoil hatter. I won't get into my specific beliefs or reveal my true level of crazy because 1) this isn't a conspiracy blog and 2) your well-intentioned requests for me to seek professional help will fall on deaf ears and be a big waste of time for both of us.

But in light of coronavirus doom and stock market doom, I have to start factoring in "prep-value" for these various items we're picking up at Trader Joe's. We'll see if the powers that be throw in a world war and go for the ultimate trifecta of doom. Either way, it can't hurt to have a deep pantry. 

Anyway, things like shelf life, nutritional value, cost, and even stackability have always been factors that I've considered, but may focus on more so nowadays. I like square or cube-shaped packages because they utilize limited space so efficiently. However, most preppers would argue that things like...I dunno...maybe like water would be something to look into before strawberry soda. So the whole premise of this review and lack of an appropriate segue means you just wasted a bunch of time reading these first three paragraphs and I wasted even more than that writing them. Hey, I mentioned I was crazy all the way back at the beginning.


Appropriate for the end of days or not, Trader Joe's Sparkling Strawberry Soda is unique and refreshing, if nothing else. In terms of packaging style, sweetness level, carbonation, and overall intensity of flavor, it's very similar to the watermelon juice we saw last year. It's a subtle flavor compared to, say, strawberry-flavored Fanta, and not nearly as sugary. I'm perfectly fine with the lack of syrupy sweetness here.

Trader Joe's also put out an offering a couple years back that flaunted both strawberry and rhubarb flavor that was reminiscent of this beverage. I liked the rhubarb element more than I thought I would, and I kind of miss it here. Still, plain old strawberry has always been a great flavor for everything from pies to jams to ice cream, and I think it's highly underrated in the world of soda. I'll take a strawberry carbonated beverage over a cola any day of the week.

The product costs about four bucks, and you get four small (8.45 oz) cans. While the pricing isn't outrageous, it's not a particularly great value in my book, especially since I could down all four cans in one sitting after a half a mile hike on a warm day. In general, pretty packaging and quality ingredients don't come cheap.


Sonia loves the flavor and would happily purchase another box. Four and a half stars from her. While I'm okay with the taste, I think I'd opt for the more exotic strawberry rhubarb soda if I had a choice between the two. Finding a way to keep the cost down would also be a big plus for me. Three and a half stars from this guy.

I don't think anything super doomy will happen soon, but even traderjoes.com mentions "drought, pestilence, bandits" and "zombie apocalypse" at the bottom of each and every product description page. Could they be sending us a message?

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

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