11 Unhealthiest Applesauce Brands You Can Buy

Applesauce has long been a favorite after-school snack for kids due to its sweet yet healthy nature. Especially for picky eaters who won't consume whole fruits, applesauce can help them get some of the nutritional benefits they need. Manufacturers usually market applesauce to children, selling it in ½-cup servings with colorful labels. However, flavor plays a key role, which is why manufacturers often include excessive sweeteners and added sugars — taking away from the wholesome nutrition of this snack.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a snack-size portion (113 grams) of unsweetened applesauce has 47.5 calories, 12.7 grams of carbs, 10.6 grams of total sugars, 2.26 milligrams of sodium, and 1.13 milligrams of vitamin C. However, a quick look at the nutrition labels of most applesauce brands will reveal levels that exceed these numbers, using sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and sugar rather than relying on the natural sugars from apples. These sweeteners are harmful, especially for children, whose daily diet should include no added sugars before 2 years of age and no more than 25 grams of added sugars per day after age 2. 

Commercially produced applesauce may use labels such as "sugar-free" or "no sugar added" — which doesn't always mean there's no sugar — so look for an "unsweetened" label instead. We scoured applesauce brands available in stores and online to find the unhealthiest ones based on added sugar content, high counts for carbs and calories, and unhealthy sweeteners.

1. Weis Quality Cinnamon Apple Sauce

Weis is a longtime food retailer in the mid-Atlantic region with over 200 stores across seven states. It manufactures and sells applesauce under its Quality food line, with flavors that include original, unsweetened, and cinnamon applesauce. The cinnamon-flavored applesauce contains a high sugar content, making it one of the least healthy flavors in the product line. A six-cup pack of cinnamon applesauce from Weis retails at $2.29, and the 24-ounce bottle is available at Instacart for just under $3.

For every 128-gram serving, the cinnamon applesauce has 100 calories, 25 grams of carbs (2 grams of dietary fiber), 21 grams of sugar, and 10 milligrams of sodium. Although there are no added sugars mentioned on the label, the sugar content is double the USDA's recommended levels, which are 11.3 grams for a 120-gram serving. This applesauce has among the highest calorie and carb counts on our list, both of which are nearly double the USDA's recommended numbers. 

Weis, along with a few other brands, made news when its cinnamon applesauce pouches were taken off shelves and recalled in late 2023 due to high levels of lead from tainted cinnamon. Hundreds of people — many of them children — who ate the applesauce later tested positive for lead exposure, which can cause a host of health issues and affect children's developing brains. Unfortunately for consumers, food recalls are more common than you think. See the biggest food recalls so far in 2024.

2. Great Value Cinnamon and Original Applesauce

Next up is Walmart's brand, Great Value, which claims to offer quality products at an affordable price. Its cinnamon applesauce flavor is available in a six-cup package for $2.24. However, this low-priced applesauce is also a high-calorie product made with added sugars that detract from the wholesome nourishment of applesauce. For every 113-gram serving, there are 90 calories, 23 grams of carbs (1 gram of fiber), 10 milligrams of sodium, and 20 grams of sugar — a whopping 9 grams of that is added sugars.

The American Heart Association recommends that on a daily basis women consume no more than 100 calories (24 grams) of added sugars and men consume no more than 150 calories (36 grams of sugar) of added sugar in their diets, but it's not the same for children. Children should limit their intake of added sugars completely to avoid health issues from an early age.

Substituting the Great Value cinnamon applesauce with the original flavor isn't much healthier, as it includes 18 grams of sugar with 7 of those grams being added sugars. Instead, opt for unsweetened applesauce from Great Value on your next grocery run. It registers at 50 calories and 11 grams of sugar, none of which is added sugar. 

3. Mott's Original and Cinnamon Applesauce

Mott's is one of the oldest companies in the U.S. producing apple-based products (since 1842) and was the first brand to sell applesauce in plastic cups, beginning in 1985. The brand's original and cinnamon-flavored applesauce are both on the unhealthy end of the spectrum. You can buy 48-ounce jars of the original and cinnamon applesauce at Walmart for $3.68 each.

Nutritionally, the cinnamon applesauce has 110 calories for a 128-gram serving, with 27 grams of carbs (1 gram of fiber), and 25 grams of sugar (including 15 grams of added sugars). The applesauce is also rich in vitamin C from the ascorbic acid added during manufacturing to help with the coloring. This product includes high fructose corn syrup, which has been linked to obesity, fatty liver disease, Type 2 diabetes, and other health problems.  That makes the Mott's cinnamon applesauce an unhealthy snack option, especially since its target audience is children. 

The original applesauce flavor has the same nutrient profile. If you're a fan of the brand, however, it also has a no-sugar-added applesauce, which is a much healthier option with 50 calories and 11 grams of sugar per 111-gram snack cup. Unfortunately, in 2023, Mott's recalled 9,600 cases of its no-sugar-added applesauce due to excess levels of patulin, a toxic substance from moldy fruit. Since the product has a longer shelf life, consumers should check their pantry and discard any six-packs of Mott's no-sugar-added applesauce with best-by dates of August 13-14, 2024.

4. Musselman's Original Apple Sauce

Musselman's is a reliable name in apple products, operating from family-owned apple farms since 1907. The brand produces a variety of sweetened and unsweetened apple and fruit sauces. Its original applesauce is a sweetened version bearing added sugars, available at Walmart for $2.48 for a six-pack of 4-ounce snack cups.

On the nutrient end, every 113-gram serving contains 80 calories, 21 grams of carbs (1 gram of fiber), 18 grams of sugar (including 7 grams of added sugars), and 10 milligrams of sodium. The company states it uses no high fructose corn syrup in its applesauce, and the ingredient list only mentions "sugar" for sweetness. In this case, the elevated sugar content comes from table sugar, which is still an unhealthy amount, considering the recommended sugar level for applesauce is half of the amount in this applesauce. Moreover, the brand's cinnamon applesauce cups bear slightly higher nutritional values — 90 calories, 20 grams of total sugar with 9 grams of that being added sugars — making its sweetened applesauce an unhealthy option.

5. Schnucks Cinnamon Apple Sauce

Schnucks is a supermarket chain that started in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1939 and has now expanded to more than 100 stores in the Midwest. The store also has its own brand, which sells a variety of food products including applesauce. The Schnucks cinnamon applesauce is available on Instacart in 24-ounce bottles.

Nutritionally, every 124-gram serving of Schnucks cinnamon applesauce has 100 calories, 24 grams of carbs (2 grams of fiber), 21 grams of sugar, and 20 milligrams of sodium. The label does not specify the amount of added sugars in grams, but the ingredients list confirms the inclusion of high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and sugar for sweetness. 

In November 2023, the Schnucks cinnamon applesauce pouches were among those recalled by the FDA for possessing lead, a toxic heavy metal with no safe level of exposure. If you're looking for a healthier alternative to store-bought, sweetened applesauce, try making homemade applesauce instead — which comes together in 20 minutes and is an easy and nutritious option. Just be sure you pick the right apple for your applesauce.

6. Good & Gather Homestyle Applesauce

Good & Gather is Target's brand, which sells a variety of packaged, fresh, and frozen food items. The brand claims to deliver high-quality products manufactured without artificial flavors and sweeteners, with a 100% money-back guarantee in case of dissatisfaction. Good & Gather makes a homestyle applesauce that retails at Target for $3.49 for a 48-ounce jar.

The brand's promise to make its products without unhealthy sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup doesn't necessarily guarantee that they are healthy. For every ½-cup serving of applesauce, there are 90 calories, 23 grams of carbs (1 gram of fiber), 20 grams of sugar (including 9 grams of added sugar), and 10 milligrams of sodium. The product uses regular sugar in a large quantity for sweetness, resulting in its high sugar content. The brand's cinnamon applesauce cups are not any better, bearing the same nutrient amounts as the original homestyle applesauce. 

Suppose you're looking for a healthier alternative. In that case, there's a secret to making homemade applesauce – use sweeter apple varieties to reduce any amount of sugar you use. Plus you can save time by not peeling the apples before they cook — just pass them through a food mill to separate the pulp from the peels.

7. Applesnax Cinnamon Applesauce

Applesnax is an applesauce brand that began production in 1990 under Leahy Orchards, a Canadian-owned family business. Applesnax products are made from apples grown on the family farm and include sauces, purees, and pie fillings in various fruit flavors. The Applesnax cinnamon-flavored applesauce comes in cups and pouches and bears a significant amount of added sugars and calories. You can buy a pack of four cinnamon applesauce cups at Dollar Tree for $1.25.

Every 113-gram serving of Applesnax cinnamon applesauce has 90 calories, 22 grams of carbs (1 gram of fiber), and 19 grams of sugar, including 9 grams of added sugar. The ingredients list has high fructose corn syrup as the sweetener that's responsible for the high sugar level. Aside from sugar, the carb levels in sweetened applesauce are also higher than the USDA's recommended amount. A 113-gram pack of unsweetened applesauce is expected to have 12.7 grams of carbs, whereas the commercially produced sweetened applesauce like the Applesnax variety contains nearly double that amount. The brand's original applesauce pouches have slightly fewer calories (which may be due to the smaller serving size) but nearly the same added sugar content (8 grams). Those looking for less sugar should instead opt for applesauce that mentions "no added sugars" or "unsweetened" on the label to avoid the extra sugar spike.

8. Essential Everyday Original Apple Sauce

Essential Everyday produces what its name claims: a variety of essential products for everyday home usage, from food items to laundry detergent, all at an affordable price. It sells an original applesauce product that packs in a higher number of calories and added sugars than what is considered healthy by the USDA. A 24-ounce bottle of the Essential Everyday applesauce is available on Instacart for $4.59.

Every 126-gram serving of Essential Everyday applesauce has 90 calories, 23 grams of carbs (1 gram of fiber), 20 grams of sugar, including 9 grams of added sugars, and 10 milligrams of sodium. The sugar levels are due to the table sugar among the ingredients, added in a larger quantity than is recommended for applesauce, for a stronger flavor. There are also 90 milligrams of vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid in the applesauce, which makes up 100% of your recommended daily intake. According to the USDA, 113 grams of unsweetened applesauce should have 1.13 milligrams of natural vitamin C, so the elevated quantity is added commercially to retain color. 

9. Bowl & Basket Original Apple Sauce

Bowl & Basket produces a collection of fresh and frozen foods and ingredients. The brand is a product of ShopRite and Wakefern Food Corp., which started as mom-and-pop grocers in the 1940s. Among the variety of Bowl & Basket offerings is applesauce, which comes in original and cinnamon flavors. Although the label claims the applesauce comes from real fruit with no artificial flavors, the added sugar content makes this an unhealthy offering. The 48-ounce bottle of Bowl & Basket original applesauce retails for $3.99 at ShopRite.

Nutritionally, every 126-gram serving of the original applesauce has 90 calories, 23 grams of carbs (2 grams of fiber), 18 grams of sugar (including 7 grams of added sugar), and 40 milligrams of vitamin C. The product uses regular sugar for sweetness. The presence of sugar in place of high fructose corn syrup as a sweetener in commercial products does not make it a healthier offering, as added sugar is still unhealthy for children and adults to consume regularly or in excess. If you are monitoring your sugar intake, consider also avoiding the Bowl & Basket cinnamon apple sauce, which contains the same added sugar content as the original.

10. Hannaford Cinnamon and Original Applesauce

Hannaford is a supermarket chain that started operating in Maine in 1883 and has now expanded to nearly 200 stores in the New England area and New York. The Hannaford brand produces multiple food products that are widely available in department stores at low prices. Its applesauce offerings include many flavors, including cinnamon, original, and unsweetened. Both the original and cinnamon applesauce are available on Hannaford's online store for $3.75 for a 48-ounce bottle.

Nutritionally, the Hannaford cinnamon applesauce takes the lead as an unhealthier option, with 100 calories in every 128-gram serving. There are also 25 grams of carbs (2 grams of fiber) and 21 grams of sugar (including 10 grams of added sugar). The ingredients list has corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup as sweeteners, leading to the hefty added sugar amount. The original applesauce is not far behind in inflated nutrient levels, bearing 90 calories, 22 grams of carbs, and 18 grams of sugar (including 7 grams of added sugar) per serving. Although applesauce is regularly used in cooking, and as a secret ingredient in many recipes, its consumption among children as a snack is what may be concerning, as it gives their system a glucose spike.

11. White House Foods Original Apple Sauce

White House Foods is a family-owned apple business based in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and has been producing apple products since 1908. Its products include apple vinegar, ciders, juices, butters, and sauces. The brand makes all natural original and chunky applesauce, which are identical in nutritional value. A 48-ounce jar of its original applesauce is available for purchase on the White House Foods website for $3.99, and the single-serving cup packaging is also available for bulk shipping from Walmart.

For every 126-gram serving of the White House Foods original applesauce, there are 90 calories, 23 grams of carbs (2 grams of fiber), 18 grams of sugars, of which 7 grams are added sugars. The ingredients list regular sugar as a sweetener. Although applesauce is generally considered a nutritious snack, sweetened varieties like this one end up in the category of healthy snacks you shouldn't buy. Try the unsweetened version, or make some yourself instead.


Applesauce can quickly turn from a wholesome snack for kids to a cup of sugar-loaded processed fruit, based on what's revealed on its nutritional label. In order to find the unhealthiest applesauce brands available today, we took to the shelves and scrutinized packaging and food labels to find brands high in calories, carbs, sugars, and added sugars like high fructose corn syrup. Since added sugars negatively affect the health of adults and children in many ways, it's best to limit their intake and opt for natural sugars in your diet from fresh fruits and vegetables.

Although most applesauce products sweetened with sugar bear an acceptable number of calories for a snack (between 80-100 calories on this list), consuming them frequently and in excess can lead to long-term health issues like obesity and Type 2 diabetes, among others. So avoid indulging in a sugary-sweet applesauce on your next grocery store visit, and keep an eye on the label to choose the healthiest option for you and your family.

Prices vary by location and were accurate at the time of writing.