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Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail vs Diet Cranberry Juice Drink

Updated on November 15, 2012

Side by side

In this side by side comparison, it looks like they come from two different fruits.
In this side by side comparison, it looks like they come from two different fruits. | Source

I am a "regular" when it comes to my juices.

I almost always include juice as part of my breakfast, which I eat nearly every day. If I don't have any juice for breakfast, I will try to have a glass some time during the day. I try to vary what I drink, and cranberry juice is one thing that is included in my "likes" juice-wise. I have been drinking regular cranberry juice as long as I can remember, and every once in a while, I will drink a cran blend such as cranapple or crangrape to cut the tartness and add a bit of sweetness. I don't usually drink diet juice, though I have had (and enjoyed) the light versions of some juices with either less sugar (but still some).

What did I expect?

I knew what to expect from the regular cranberry juice, since I have been drinking that for many years, and based on experience with other reduced calorie drinks, I was expecting perhaps a diluted version of the original juice or something a little more tart (if that is possible with cranberry juice). I expected to get less juice and more water in the diet version and I expected a little bit fewer calories and a lot less sugar.

Did I get what I expected?

When I tasted the diet cranberry juice, it looked like strained fruit punch and did not have the noticeable tartness of traditional cranberry juice. It did not taste like a watered down version of the original and it certainly was not more tart. In fact, the diet cranberry juice tasted (to me) sweeter than the regular cranberry juice and had the "diet drink" taste that I have experienced with some diet soft drinks. The regular cranberry juice does have a stronger taste overall, even if it isn't sweet.

Good and bad of each

Both juices contain 100% USRDA for Vitamin C.

Diet Cranberry juice is quite different from regular in a very good way when it comes to sugar content and number of calories. Diet Cranberry has 5 calories and less than 1 gram sugars, whereas regular cranberry juice has 110 calories and 28 grams sugars.

Regular Cranberry juice cocktail contains 27% juice, while Diet Cranberry juice drink contains just 7% juice.

Regular Cranberry Juice Cocktail contains fewer ingredients than diet Cranberry Juice Drink, which reads like a list of items available in a chemistry lab.

Both products cost the same where I bought them and they come in the same size container. Both can be stored un-refrigerated but must be refrigerated after opening and should be used within two weeks after opening.

Even though the Diet Drink has fewer calories and sugar, I would try to find other ways to watch calories and sugar than skimping on the cranberry juice.

My rating of Ocean Spray diet cranberry juice

2 stars for Ocean Spray diet cranberry juice



Ingredients in Diet Cranberry Juice Drink

  • Flitered Water
  • Cranberry Juice from Concentrate
  • Natural Flavors
  • Pectin
  • Citric Acid
  • Fumaric Acid
  • Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin C
  • Sodium Citrate
  • Acesulfame Potassium
  • Sucralose
  • Red 40

Ingredients in regular cranberry juice cocktail

  • Filtered Water
  • Cranberry Juice from Concentrate
  • Cane or Beet sugar
  • Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
  • Vegetable Concentrate for Color

Do you usually buy regular or diet drinks?

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    • rsusan profile image

      Rika Susan 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Have you ever tried freshly made cranberry juice, in combination with some other fruits or veggies, Tom? It can be really good. In fact, cranberries can be used to improve the taste of almost any veggie juice.

      I enjoyed reading your interesting comparison. We are so used to making our own juices, that we seldom buy the bottled varieties.


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