Orange Juice Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

While orange juice may not be as popular today as it once was, it's still a breakfast staple for countless Americans. More than 500,000 metric tons of this drink is consumed every year in the United States.

During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for orange juice doubled, as customers flocked for this natural source of vitamin C. While orange juice definitely has a lot of sugar in it, there may be enough benefits for you to possibly justify drinking this citrus juice on a consistent basis.

When it comes to brands of orange juice, things can quickly get confusing; there are so many brands on the market that it can be difficult to separate one from another. However, there's definitely a hierarchy when it comes to orange juice. Some brands are reliably great, while others never deserve a spot on your shopping list.

To help you deal with the confusion, we've ranked orange juice brands — starting with last place.

17. Tampico

When you're in the mood for a refreshing glass of orange juice, make sure you don't settle for Tampico Citrus Punch. This liquid may appear to be orange juice but it's an utterly terrible counterfeit that will ruin your mood.

Right when Tampico hits your taste buds, you'll instantly know that something is horribly wrong. This stuff tastes completely artificial, which shouldn't be too surprising considering that the first two ingredients listed on the label are water and high fructose corn syrup. This punch has orange juice, tangerine juice, and lemon juice in it, but it still manages to not have any sort of citrusy goodness.

Amazingly, as artificial as this liquified disappointment initially tastes, that's not even the worst part: what will make you gag is the horrendous aftertaste. Have you ever taken a sip of orange juice after brushing your teeth? Yes, that's the flavor of Tampico Citrus Punch's aftertaste. Stay far, far away.

16. Bright & Early

It's difficult to blame someone for purchasing Bright & Early. First of all, this drink is reasonably priced. In fact, it's almost always one of the cheapest orange juice options you will see. Secondly, the carton has a big, beautiful orange on it and prominently boasts about its vitamin C content. Moreover, the name makes you think that this drink is a great way to start your day.

However, if you had taken a closer look at the carton, you would have noticed that Bright & Early openly admits to not having any juice in it. Orange juice with no juice? That's obviously a big problem — and is undoubtedly the main reason why this stuff is so cheap.

Instead of using real orange juice, Bright & Early gets its tartness from citric acid and its color from food coloring. While it tastes a little bit better than Tampico Citrus Punch, this liquid is still really gross. Start your day off on the right foot and spend a little bit more money for orange juice that tastes a whole lot better.

15. Great Value

As you've probably found out the hard way, there are some products that you should never purchase at Walmart; go ahead and add orange juice from Walmart's Great Value brand to that list. This stuff isn't as disgusting as Tampico Citrus Punch or Bright & Early but you will be thoroughly disappointed.

The issue with Great Value is their orange juice is too watery. It's like you took mediocre orange juice and then added water to it to make it last longer in your refrigerator. While you can taste the orange flavor and the citrus aftertaste, everything about it is unacceptably muted.

Furthermore, orange juice made by Great Value comes with a notice that it may contain soy, wheat, milk, or shellfish. Sure, that probably just means that the orange juice is made in a factory alongside a lot of other products, but do you really want to risk finding milk in your orange juice? Or, worse yet, shellfish? Ew.

14. Tang

Tang has a history that dates all the way back to 1957, although this powdered version of orange juice didn't become popular until word spread throughout the world that it was a popular choice for astronauts while in outer space. Mix the powder with water and you'll be amused because it legitimately has a tangy flavor that tastes like authentic orange juice. However, soon the novelty of Tang wears off and you'll end up agreeing with legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who eventually admitted that this powdered drink "sucks."

The one advantage of Tang is that you can easily adjust the flavor. If you want a strong orangey drink, add more powder. If you prefer a lighter refreshment, use less than the recommended amount of powder. That said, unless you're being blasted into orbit and can't take genuine orange juice with you, select something better than Tang. Otherwise, if you're staying here on Earth, you have no excuse to not opt for genuine orange juice.

13. Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's has a lot of healthy foods on their shelves and a plethora of must-try products. To that end, you won't be surprised to learn that they have orange juice that is both freshly squeezed and completely unpasteurized. Sounds amazing, right? Sadly, that's not consistently the case.

Sometimes the orange juice you buy at Trader Joe's is great. It tastes like juice made from oranges that were just picked off of a tree growing in your backyard. However, other times there will be moments that the orange juice will taste like it has unknown chemicals or even sawdust in it. Though it's possible that you'll get a tasty carton of orange juice, it's simply not worth the gamble.

Besides, if you're shopping at Trader Joe's and you suddenly get a craving for oranges, skip the juice and go for their Mandarin Orange Chicken. This glorious Chinese food is one of the best store-bought meals you can find anywhere in the United States — if not the very best.

12. SunnyD

When you were a child, the thought of a glass of cold Sunny Delight likely made your mouth water. Back then, Sunny Delight was like orange juice on sugary steroids. It tasted a little bit like orange juice but, more importantly, the sweetness made it a form of liquified candy.

Tragically, after Sunny Delight infamously made the skin of a little girl turn yellow, the fun came to a halt. Parents were scared away and began to notice all of the questionable ingredients, including the excess sugar. With their sales falling off of a cliff, Sunny Delight changed their name to SunnyD and tried altering their formula a couple of times. Unfortunately for this company, parents have never forgotten about the story of the little girl who turned yellow.

These days, SunnyD isn't nearly as tasty as the original Sunny Delight formula that debuted back in 1963. If you're expecting the liquified candy of yesteryear, you'll be disheartened.

11. Whole Foods 365

While the store brand of orange juice at Trader Joe's tastes funny to some, the same isn't true at Whole Foods. Although their orange juice isn't great, the Whole Foods 365 brand has a few options that are pretty good — from organic no pulp orange juice to organic unpasteurized orange juice.

Why don't we rank Whole Foods 365 orange juice even higher on this list? It comes down to the bang for your buck, or the lack thereof. Like many items that are sold at Whole Foods, their store brand of orange juice is overpriced. As stated, their orange juice is pretty good — but it's not worth the elevated price tag. For that amount of money, you should buy a name brand that reliably tastes even better. 

That said, if you're already at Whole Foods and you're okay with the risks associated with drinking unpasteurized orange juice, go ahead and grab a jug or carton.

10. Ocean Spray

Ocean Spray is primarily known for their cranberries. They harvest more than 220 billion cranberries each year, which they turn into cranberry juice and cranberry sauce. But, yes, Ocean Spray also sells orange juice.

If you like your orange juice to be extra tart, you may enjoy Ocean Spray. That said, most people will find that the tartness is too overwhelming. After a few sips, you'll be wanting to move on to a drink that is more forgiving and won't keep you in a constant state of puckering.

Remember that viral TikTok video of the super laid-back dude loving life as he longboarded down a highway while drinking Ocean Spray? You'll notice he was drinking Ocean Spray Cran Raspberry. He wouldn't have been in that much bliss if he'd been drinking their super tart orange juice. While Ocean Spray makes outstanding drinks, stick to the ones with cranberry in it. That's their speciality.

9. Tree Ripe

If you want a perfectly mediocre orange juice, look for Tree Ripe. It's most popular on the East Coast but you can find it in all corners of the country. You won't be blown away, but this stuff is totally acceptable. There are unquestionably better brands of orange juice on the market but this one is okay.

Compared to other brands, Tree Ripe has a mellower orange flavor and is slightly less sweet. But despite its name, your taste buds will know full well that you're not drinking freshly squeezed orange juice from tree-ripened oranges. If you want to maximize the flavor, make sure you keep this orange juice extremely cold. At room temperature, it's really gross.

Tree Ripe is a juice brand owned by Johanna Foods, a privately operated food manufacturer that's been in business for more than 25 years. Johanna Foods is headquartered in Flemington, New Jersey, and is arguably best known for their La Yogurt and, more specifically, their Sabor Latino yogurt.

8. HomeMaker

HomeMaker has been in the orange juice industry since 1991. This company was born in Florida and is still headquartered in the Sunshine State. Overall, this is a reliable brand that clearly knows what's needed to produce high-quality orange juice. However, buying HomeMaker orange juice isn't without a little bit of risk.

The vast majority of the time, you'll be pleased with HomeMaker. Their orange juice has a delightful amount of sweetness, which will make you look forward to breakfast each morning. That said, if you make a habit of buying this brand, you'll soon realize that the flavor can vary. Once in a blue moon, you'll even get HomeMaker orange juice that actually has a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Why the discrepancy from glass to glass with this brand? Perhaps, as it states on the carton, it's because their juice is made with a blend of orange juice from concentrate and orange juice not from concentrate. That fact alone shouldn't be a deal-breaker, however it's something you should factor in when deciding which brand of orange juice to purchase.

7. Uncle Matt's

Orange juice made by Uncle Matt's is safely above average. This brand is all about organic orange juice. In fact, while Uncle Matt's has a relatively extensive list of products these days, their very first product was organic orange juice back in 1999. From the beginning, this Florida-based business has been about growing oranges without the use of harmful pesticides or unnatural fertilizers.

Uncle Matt's has four types of orange juice: the first two are organic orange juice with pulp and without pulp, and the next version is orange juice that's been fortified with vitamin D and calcium. Finally, there's the most interesting kind of orange juice that Uncle Matt's sells: orange juice that has probiotics and turmeric in it. It's called Uncle Matt's Organic Orange Defense and it tastes surprisingly good. Even if you think turmeric in your orange juice sounds icky, give this juice a try. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

6. Minute Maid

Minute Maid has a long and storied history with orange juice. The tale of this company dates back to 1945, when the United States Army ordered 250 tons of powdered orange juice. The next year, the company started selling frozen orange juice made out of concentrate. It was the first product of its kind to hit the open market. They called this new product Minute Maid, and then decided to change the name of the company to match it.

To this day, you can buy frozen Minute Maid orange juice. All you need to do is mix the frozen concentrated juice with approximately three cans of ice-cold water. Stir it all up and you'll have some flavorful orange juice at your fingertips in no time. If you're in the market for orange juice that you can store in your freezer, Minute Maid was the first brand and remains the best brand. No other brand can even compare.

Unfortunately, while Minute Maid also sells liquid orange juice by the carton, it's just not as good. If you're going the liquid route and not the frozen route, pick another brand.

5. Natalie's

Natalie's is the brainchild of an entrepreneurial-minded woman named Marygrace Sexton. She was married to a citrus grower in Florida and noticed that no store-bought orange juice could compare to the freshly squeezed orange juice she could make from the oranges at her husband's groves. In 1989, she decided to do something about it and launched Natalie's, a juice company she named after her eldest daughter.

Three decades later, Natalie's is a trustworthy brand when you're shopping for orange juice. Depending on where you shop, this juice can be expensive — but it tastes good enough that you won't regret your decision to buy it. You'll also be glad to learn that their juices don't have any preservatives, GMOs, artificial ingredients, or added sugars.

Beyond orange juice and organic orange juice, Natalie's also sells blood orange juice, orange mango juice, orange beet juice, and orange pineapple juice. If you want a recommendation, give the orange mango juice a try. It's fantastic.

4. Tropicana

Tropicana has been a well-known brand in the world of orange juice for more than 70 years. This company spearheaded many important advances in the orange juice industry including flash pasteurization. Tropicana also worked feverishly to figure out how to best transport orange juice so that it was still fresh at the destination. If you only buy orange juice that says "not from concentrate" on it, this is the company you should thank. It's not hyperbolic to state that this industry wouldn't be where it is today without Tropicana.

If you go to your local supermarket, there's a great chance that you'll be met with a variety of Tropicana product options. From low acid orange juice to orange juice with zinc and vitamin D, Tropicana has it all.

Taste-wise, there's nothing to complain about. All their flavors are wonderful. However, when it comes to texture, Tropicana can be hit or miss. Even if you enjoy orange juice with pulp in it, you probably won't love Tropicana products that have a lot of pulp. Those products, which they label as "Grovestand," are just too pulpy and you'll end up spending time trying to pick the pulp out of your teeth.

3. Lakewood

Though you've perhaps never heard of the Lakewood brand, they've been nourishing juice lovers since 1935. If you value health and freshness above all, it's difficult to pick anything but what this company has to offer. Buy a glass bottle of Lakewood Organic Pure Orange Juice and you may never look back. Each bottle is filled with between 10 and 14 freshly pressed oranges that are certified organic. You won't find any preservatives, GMOs, added sugars, or anything else unseemly in this orange juice.

If you can't find Lakewood juice in a store near you, you can still order their orange juice from their website. Don't worry, it'll arrive at your doorstep in its iconic glass bottle.

Lakewood is a family owned and family operated company that has been in the same family for generations. It all started in Miami, Florida, and the company is still located in Miami more than 85 years later.

2. Simply Orange

From their cool looking carafes to their simple yet memorable name, Simply Orange has rocketed to near the top of this list even though they're a newcomer in the industry. Unlike other brands that have been around for generations, Simply Orange didn't spring to life until 2001. Despite the late start, it didn't take long for orange juice aficionados to take notice and fall head-over-heels for this new kid on the block.

All of Simply Orange's offerings are spectacular. You'll be able to feel your taste buds celebrating each and every time you grab one of their carafes. When it comes to flavor and consistency, Simply Orange deserves the highest possible grades.

Where this brand shines brightest is when pulp enters the equation. Simply Orange High Pulp is outrageously flavorful. Instead of the pulp getting in the way of the juice, the pulp manages to enhance the experience with bursts of flavor and entertaining texture.

1. Florida's Natural

When it comes to taste alone, Florida's Natural and Simply Orange are just about tied; they're both absolutely outstanding. However, Florida's Natural gets the slight edge due to the fact that you know exactly where all the oranges used in their orange juice comes from. Contrary to its name, not every orange that finds its way into the carton come from Florida. Some are sourced from Mexico due to a decline in Florida's orange crop. 

To compare, Simply Orange makes their juice from oranges from Brazil, Mexico, or the United States depending on the time of year. Tropicana is another popular American brand that gets a lot of their oranges from Brazil. While it may not use Florida oranges exclusively, Florida's Natural orange juice has the exact same unforgettable flavor.

Florida's Natural has three levels of pulp, ranging from pulp-free to pulptastic. No matter which of their orange juice products you purchase, you'll fall in love with the best orange juice that can be found anywhere.