Calm Down, Apple Juice Has Always Been A Main Ingredient In Your Fruity Drinks

To be human in the age of social media is to experience panic over topics you had never considered previously. One curious individual noticed that many supermarket juices contain apple juice as a main ingredient and shared their findings on X (formerly Twitter). The thread caused something of a stir, garnering over 1,000 comments. Folks were shocked at the revelation that juices from major brands such as Innocent and Naked Juice contain up to 71% apple juice, particularly when they're often named as if they're flavored with just about everything except apple juice. Perhaps, as one user wryly remarked, "We're all under the influence of Big Apple."

However, apple juice is not as much of a new addition as some may think. It's hard to pin down exactly when companies started using apple juice this way, but it's certainly not a new practice. The Innocent Breakfast Thickie listed processed apples in the ingredients on bottles from 2007. Naked Juice's Peach Guava Smoothie has contained apple juice from as early as 2011.

Why do so many fruity drinks contain apple juice?

There are several reasons why apples make a great base in fruity drinks. Because many varieties of apples have a neutral flavor, manufacturers can use them to balance out drinks. For example, berry-heavy drinks would probably be quite sour without something to smooth their natural tartness. However, some commenters on the X post in question posited that manufacturers use apple juice to sidestep certain regulations.

In the U.K., drinks containing added sugars are subject to the soft drinks industry levy (SDIL). This levy requires the packager or importer to pay a tax of up to 24 pounds per 100 milliliters and may have prompted some manufacturers to consider other sweeteners. Concentrated apple juice is high in fructose — higher than the high-fructose corn syrup often found in soft drinks. This allows manufacturers to pump their drinks full of sweetness without needing to lose the coveted "no added sugars" label.

This practice goes beyond major manufacturers. One commenter on the X thread, who stated they previously worked at a juice bar, shared a secret for filling out drinks: "We were always told ... to just add apple juice, [because] it's cheap, sweet, and juicy."