Tidbits: Now it's pure

  • Article by: AL SICHERMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 20, 2011 - 2:00 PM

Also: A little squeeze of flavor.

Things seem to be happening in the aisle where you buy flavorings to add to your own glass or bottle of water.

First, Kraft's Crystal Light, which already had a bewildering array of products, including 13 regular flavors and a number of "enhanced" flavors with such attributes as focus and "skin essentials," has added a line called Crystal Light Pure. Or maybe it's called Crystal Light Pure Fitness; Mr. Tidbit has seen the product both ways. In any case, it's "purer" than regular Crystal Light because, according to the package, it has "no artificial sweeteners, flavors or preservatives."

Indeed, both the enhanced and regular flavors of Crystal Light are sweetened with aspartame and acesulfame potassium, and there are artificial colors to be found among them as well; Crystal Light Pure flavors are sweetened with a combination of sugar and Truvia (rebiana) for a total of 15 calories per serving, compared with 5 calories for the other varieties. And for color, the mixed berry version of Pure, for example, includes dried radish and black currant and apple juices.

Need Mr. Tidbit say it? Boxes of regular Crystal Light contain 10 single-serve packets; boxes of the Pure varieties sell for the same price but contain only seven single-serve packets. So each serving of Pure costs 43 percent more.

Squeeze enhancement

Not content with selling you powder to pour into your water, Kraft now offers six flavors of Mio, a liquid "water enhancer," which you squeeze into your water from a little bottle that contains 24 servings (if you use about 1/2 teaspoon for a serving). It's sweetened with sucralose and acesulfame potassium.

But what's breathtakingly exciting about Mio is that you can customize your drink -- as the ads explain: "Add a little to make it mild, add a lot to make it wild. Make it yours. Make it Mio." Mr. Tidbit is speechless.

In fact, he was almost speechless when he found that Mio sells for only about half as much per serving as single-serve regular Crystal Light!

AL SICHERMAN

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