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Stretch Island Fruit Company: Two Product Reviews
Buy Stretch Island products
What’s better than candy? That's easy -- healthy candy!
That is how I first saw the Stretch Island Fruit Company products I recently had the opportunity to taste and review -- glorified candy. However, my original opinion did not last. A few days after indicating my interest in testing these products, the mailman delivered a box of fruit strips as well as some FruitaBu to my front door. Within the package I discovered the following five varieties of Stretch Island Fruit Company’s Original Fruit Strips: Autumn Apple, Abundant Apricot, Harvest Grape, Mango Sunrise, and Summer Strawberry. In addition I received three flavors of FruitaBu All-Natural Smooshed Fruit Rolls: apple, grape, and strawberry.
Eager to get my [highly scientific] Stretch Island review under way, I tore into a Mango Sunrise Fruit Strip. This was the first time I’ve ever eaten a fruit leather product -- at least, since General Mills’ Fruit Roll-Ups and Fruit By the Foot products became the hot item in my elementary school. My parents thankfully never purchased these cavity-inducing treats for my brother and I, but that did not stop me from lusting after my friends’ sugary fruit snacks in the school lunchroom.
Stretch Island Fruit Company Fruit Strips and FruitaBu Rolls are similar in form to the fruit snacks of my youth, but with one notable difference -- the Stretch Island products carry actual nutrition, while most other fruit snacks list sugar as a top ingredient. My Mango Sunrise Fruit Strip actually tasted like mango, probably because it actually contained mango concentrate. The mango flavor also has apple and lemon juice concentrates and natural mango flavors -- and nothing else. No added sugar, no high fructose corn syrup. Just the juices.
What’s more, the mango fruit strip tasted good. At 45 calories per strip, the leathers are fat free and deliver a half serving of fruit. I probably won’t buy these for myself as I already enjoy fruit in its whole unprocessed state, tasty and all-natural though the strips may be. For me the fruit strip would be a frivolous purchase of something that I see as not quite candy. However, if if I had children who struggled to down their daily fruits and veggies, it would be a different story. In that situation Stretch Island’s Fruit Strips might well find a permanent place on one of my pantry shelves.
The FruitaBu All-Natural Smooshed Fruit Rolls were a little less nutritionally redeeming in that each roll contains 80 calories and 2 grams of fat. However, each roll also delivers a whole fruit serving as opposed to a leather’s half serving. Also, as with the fruit leathers, the only sugars in FruitaBu rolls naturally occur within the fruit. I thought the fruit strips tasted better, but I enjoyed the FruitaBu rolls’ texture more. The strips are rather stiff and can be difficult to chew. The rolls were much softer and more malleable and did not gum up my teeth as much.
Stretch Island Fruit Company’s Fruit Strips as well as their FruitaBu All-Natural Smooshed Fruit Rolls provide a tasty and pain-free way for folks who struggle to eat their daily produce to get some natural fruit into their diets. These products also deliver a sweet snack that is not nutritionally void, like so many of the foods that populate grocery stores shelves. My husband, who can be picky about his fruit and vegetable intake, enjoyed the Stretch Island treats as well.
However, my husband did bring up an excellent point. These products are touted as being all-natural and nutritionally redeeming. This can even translate to communicating a sense of these being ethically redeeming products as well -- I certainly found the term “guilt-free” springing to mind regarding the fruit strips and rolls. For such a small product that is overtly advertised as being natural and organic, my husband pointed you that each strip and roll certainly does come along with a great deal of plastic. It’s true -- every fruit strip is wrapped in plastic that is at least double the size of the leather itself. The FruitaBu rolls come packaged in a plastic wrapper and a strip of something like waxed paper is rolled up inside along with the food.
Overall, the Stretch Island Fruit Company Fruit Strips and the FruitaBu All-Natural Smooshed Fruit Rolls get my stamp of approval. These two items really do deliver on the company’s promise of all-natural ingredients in a palate-pleasing product. Ideally, I would love to see packaging that’s as natural and friendly as the foods are to the human body. I do understand, however, that this may not be possible to achieve while maintaining safety in production and distribution. Also, these items somewhat expensive, with a 30-pack of strips selling for about $15 USD and a box of 6 rolls listed as $3.29 in the Stretch Island online store.
These products taste good. They contain good-for-you ingredients and really do have a more nutritionally redeeming identity than my initial labeling of the products as glorified sweets. The packaging leaves something to be desired for the green consumer, and the price is a little stiff for me to consider purchasing fruit strips or rolls on a regular basis. So what’s the bottom line on Stretch Island Fruit Company Original Fruit Strips and FruitaBu All-Natural Smooshed Fruit Rolls? In spite of a couple of detriments, the Stretch Island Fruit Company fruit products are delicious and nutritious, if a little pricey, and wholly enjoyable.
Have you eaten Stretch Island products? If so, which is your favorite?
- Stretch Island Fruit Company in Missoula: Two Product Reviews
I published the original version of this article as a Healthy Food Examiner and am republishing this rendition to provide information on healthy food products to as many interested folks as possible. Follow the link for the original review.