With the increased popularity of fruit and vegetable smoothies in recent years, numerous products have appeared on the market to entice consumers with their convenience. One company that has an entire lineup of convenience-ready smoothies is Arthur’s Fresh.

Arthur’s Fresh Company has been farming and making juices naturally, since 1893. It started as a small family-run business out of Goderich, Ontario. The company was officially founded in 1997 and became based in Etobicoke, Ontario. As of November 23, 2009, Arthur’s Fresh Company Ltd. operates as a subsidiary of H.J. Heinz Company of Canada Ltd. The company prided themselves on processing the freshest, highest quality ingredients, with their gentle processing system that was said to maximize both the nutrients and fresh tastes in their products.

Arthur’s offers several flavors of smoothies and juices, which I will share with you about in this review. In total, as of 2009 they had 8 varieties of smoothies, which were as follows: Mango Plus, Green Energy, Strawberry Rainforest, Pom Plus, Acai Plus, Carrot Energizer, Very Berry, and Goji Plus. In addition, they had added a new line of juices, which I will also talk about below.

NOTE: I have no affiliation to this company and no compensation or free samples were received by me to do this review. The review was strictly done for personal interest and educational purposes.

Arthur’s Acai Plus Smoothie

**Originally reviewed November 2008

The Acai berry is a rich source of anthocyanins, which give many red and purple fruits and vegetables some of their best health benefits. The acai berry is also a rich source of protein and fiber, in addition to high levels of both omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. The science on acai berries shows that while they have some wonderful health and nutrition benefits, they are not that unique compared to other fruits. Most of their “superfood health benefits” have been over inflated, as commonly happens in our fad-obsessed society. Regardless, this berry does contain excellent antioxidant properties, and helps treat and prevent chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes type 2.

The flavor of Arthur’s acai smoothie was as expected, deliciously sweet, yet refreshing. However given the sugar load of its fruit extract ingredients, this is not surprising. Ingredients of the acai smoothie are as follows: Fresh apple juice, Açai purée, Blueberry purée, Blackberry purée, Boysenberry purée, Banana purée, Pear juice, Lemon and lime juice. As you notice there is no actual “whole” fruit in this smoothie, it is all juices and purées, which have already been processed themselves. So while a drink like this is of course much better than any soda or commercial juice, we cannot fool ourselves into thinking that it is a healthy food option. The healthy option here is to make your own smoothie at home in minutes from whole fruits and vegetables, and not subject it to any kind of pasteurization.

Arthur’s Pomegranate Super Juice

Originally reviewed March 2009

In the past decade, pomegranate juice has been widely promoted as one of the healthiest juices of choice when it came to super high levels of antioxidants. But are all pomegranate juices created equal? The answer is a simple no. Arthur’s Fresh Pom, as the ingredients state, is 100% pure pomegranate juice, and it is part of the company’s new Super Juice line, which was introduced in early 2009. Aside from pomegranate, the other flavored offered in this line is blueberry. To know how any such super juices rate across brands, check out the Pomegranate and Blueberry Juice Consumer Shopping Guide from Natural News.

Arthur’s pomegranate super juice is really 100% pure pomegranate juice and not from concentrate, which is the first thing to watch for. There are no other juice fillers, no sweeteners, no preservatives or any other junk. The juice actually tastes like real pomegranates, slightly sweet and sour with a little bitter aftertaste. The juice is flash pasteurized to preserve the freshness, though this will damage some of the nutrients.

The juice claims to be a source of naturally occurring antioxidants and can provide some health benefits. Of course nothing beats eating fresh and whole pomegranate itself, which should always be your first choice over any juice.

Arthur’s Other Flavors

All of the smoothies have a smooth consistency, that is thicker than a juice, but runnier than what most homemade smoothies would be like. For the purpose of this review I also tried the following flavors.

  • The Mango Plus is exceptional, as it really tastes like fresh mangoes.
  • The Strawberry Rainforest is great, but was not one of my favorites.
  • The Pom Plus is very refreshing and tastes very much like one would expect of a fresh pomegranate.
  • The Green Energy was my favorite for flavor, health benefits and value, as it also incorporates spirulina, wheat and barley grass. It therefore offers the highest nutritional density, and allows people to consume superfood ingredients that may not be easy for most to consume otherwise. If one is to drink these smoothies for health, rather than just pleasure, I would most recommend this variety.

Arthur’s Fresh Smoothies Nutrition Info

Original data gathered in March 2009

Here is an overview of some of Arthur’s other smoothie flavors, their ingredients and nutrition data provided on the bottle labels. Notice here too that the smoothies all consist processed plant parts — juices, purées, powders and oils, and no whole food ingredients. And while their nutrition profiles look impressive, given all those vitamins and minerals, we have to remember that we are in no way guaranteed that given the pasteurization process and nutritional breakdown of the product sitting on a shelf for a prolonged time, and in a plastic bottle.

Mango Plus Green Energy Strawberry Rainforest Pom Plus
Ingredients
Apple Juice
Mango Purée
Banana Purée
Lemon or Lime Juice
Ingredients
Apple Juice
Banana Purée
Passion fruit Juice
Plum Purée
Lemon Juice
Spirulina Powder
Flax Seed Oil
Barley Grass Powder
Wheat Grass Powder
Ingredients
Apple Juice
Berry Purée Blend
(Strawberry, Acai, Blueberry, Blackberry, Boysenberry)
Banana Purée
Lemon or Lime Juice
Ingredients
Pomegranate Juice
Apple Juice
Banana Purée
Blackcurrant Purée
Lemon or Lime Juice
Nutritional Information (per 325mL)
180 Calories
0 g Fat
1g Protein
45 g Carbohydrate (37g Sugar)
3 g Fiber
520 mg Potassium
5 mg Sodium
0 mg Cholesterol
Nutritional Information (per 325mL)
230 Calories
0.8 g Fat
2 g Protein
53 g Carbohydrate (39g Sugar)
3 g Fiber
780 mg Potassium
15 mg Sodium
0 mg Cholesterol
Nutritional Information (per 325mL)
190 Calories
1.5 g Fat
1 g Protein
43 g Carbohydrate (36g Sugar)
3 g Fiber
590 mg Potassium
0 mg Sodium
0 mg Cholesterol
Nutritional Information (per 325mL)
220 Calories
0 g Fat
1 g Protein
54 g Carbohydrate (33g Sugar)
1 g Fiber
790 mg Potassium
25 mg Sodium
0 mg Cholesterol
Vitamins & Minerals
20% Vitamin A
8% Vitamin B2
6% Vitamin B3
30% Vitamin B6
50% Vitamin C
15% Vitamin E
140% Folate
6% Pantothenate
15% Magnesium
2% Calcium
2% Iron
6% Zinc
Vitamins & Minerals
10% Vitamin A
15% Vitamin B2
10% Vitamin B3
35% Vitamin B6
90% Vitamin B12
25% Vitamin C
80% Folate
15% Pantothenate
20% Magnesium
8% Phosphorus
2% Calcium
15% Iron
10% Zinc
Vitamins & Minerals
2% Vitamin A
2% Vitamin B1
10% Vitamin B2
6% Vitamin B3
25% Vitamin B6
70% Vitamin C
15% Folate
30% Biotin
6% Pantothenate
15% Magnesium
100% Manganese
4% Phosphorus
2% Calcium
Vitamins & Minerals
2% Vitamin A
8% Vitamin B2
6% Vitamin B3
15% Vitamin B6
90% Vitamin B12
45% Vitamin C
15% Vitamin K
10% Folate
8% Pantothenate
20% Magnesium
35% Manganese
4% Phosphorus
6% Calcium

Packaging

One of the biggest downsides of products like this is that they are packaged in plastic, which defeats us wanting to make healthy choices for ourselves and to help our Earth. As we have learned over the years, no plastics are truly safe and all carry some risks of leaching and harming our health. This is where glass bottles would help to improve the nutrition and health integrity of these products.

The smoothies come in 325mL or 900mL size bottles. Please always remember to recyclable the bottles and not have them end up in landfills.

Price

The cost of the small sized smoothies is around $3, and the cost of the large sized smoothies is around $6, depending on the store and any sales in effect.

Availability

  • In Canada may be found in grocery stores, convenience stores and some health food stores

The Pros

  • Deliciously sweet and refreshing flavors
  • Not from concentrate
  • No artificial colors
  • No artificial or natural flavors
  • No preservatives
  • Better drink choice than any soda, commercial juice or other processed drinks
  • Fair Price

The Cons

  • May be overly sweet for some
  • Not made of whole fruits and vegetables directly, but based on extracts and processed plant foods
  • Not made of organic ingredients
  • Plastic packaging
  • Pasteurized, which will negatively influence nutrient integrity
  • Not a fresh, homemade product for maximum nutrition and health benefits

Questions and Answers

How much of these smoothies can I drink per day?

There is no one set, right amount of how much of such smoothies one can or should drink daily. In truth, such products should NOT be depended on for daily use. For best health and weight outcomes we should base our diets on whole, plant foods and not drink our calories. If one chooses to drink such products, they should be the odd exception, perhaps when out on the road on a trip, etc. The more of these smoothies that one consumes, the more the calories and isolated sugars add up.

It is not possible for me to incorporate the Acai berry into my diet easily. Can this product serve as my Acai food source, so that I get the health benefits of the Acai berry?

Not really. As shared above, the health benefits of the acai berry are not more spectacular than most other fruits. They have just been marketed well. So if it is not easy or convenient for you to have acai berries in your diet in their whole, natural form, then it is best not to have them at all, rather than rely on any processed or refined acai berry foods. Look instead to the abundant and wonderful variety of fruits found easily in your area, which all have outstanding health benefits. And always remember, it is not one food that will make the difference in our health and wellbeing, but the overall quality of our diet.

What if I cannot make smoothies at home?

Then it is better to look for other wholesome food options, like whole fruits and vegetables themselves, or meals made of them. These products can be a great stepping stone on a journey of improving one’s diet or weaning oneself off of worse, processed sugary drinks, but they should not be depended on long-term or on any regular basis.