The Brand Behind Trader Joe's Popular Juice Smoothies

Trader Joe's has always been notoriously secretive about the manufacturers behind many of their popular products — and for good reason. They get most of their products from more prominent brands, selling the higher-priced items for much cheaper under the Trader Joe's label. "Suppliers aren't allowed to say they supply Trader Joe's products," ex-Trader Joe's employee Mark Gardiner says (via Eater), "and Trader Joe's never willingly talks about who their suppliers are."

However, Eater found a workaround using Freedom of Information Act requests to look up a decade of FDA and USDA recalls and product alerts involving Trader Joe's. One FOIA request revealed that Pepsi Co.'s Naked Juice has been a supplier of Trader Joe's smoothies. The only difference between Trader Joe's Very Green juice smoothie and Naked's Green Machine is the absence of chlorella and kale and less banana puree. Trader Joe's Mango fruit smoothie has the same ingredients as Naked's Mighty Mango, but the 16-ounce bottle is only $2.99 at Trader Joe's, while Naked's Mighty Mango sells at Target for $3.49 in a smaller 15.2-ounce size.

The flavors are customer favorites

Naked Juice was created by Jimmy Rosenberg and David Bleeden in Santa Monica, California, in 1983. Rosenberg told the audience at the 2019 JuiceCon that the idea came to him when he was home from college for the summer and thinking of ways to make money. "Hey, why don't I walk the beaches of Venice Beach, up and down, and make juice at home and sell it on the beach?" he recalled.

By 1988, Naked was a big deal in the juice world, and it was sold to Chiquita. It changed hands again in 2000, and the name was briefly changed from Naked Juice to Ultimate Juice Company. In 2007 Pepsi Co. bought the Naked Juice Company, adding new drinks with probiotics and coconut water to their product lineup.

The Green Machine and Mighty Mango Smoothies are two of the most popular Naked Juice flavors, so it makes sense that Trader Joe's customers would be just as enthusiastic about them.