Fresh Juice vs Bottled: Which Is Better?

If you’ve noticed there’s suddenly a lot more choices in the grocery story when it comes to bottled juice, you’re not mistaken. Cold-pressed juice is the third fastest growing category[1] in the grocery store, and in some larger stores, there’s now a whole refrigerator dedicated to brightly colored bottles of juiced fruits and vegetables.

Here at Reboot with Joe, we think fresh juice is best, but let’s face it — you don’t always have time to juice, or you’re traveling, or you just need a quick lunch and don’t want to succumb to the lure of the drive-thru.

In those cases, bottled cold-pressed juice (also sold as HPP juice, or high-pressure processed juice) is a great, easy option — but sometimes it’s not easy to tell which brand or flavor is the best choice.

Here’s how to quickly pick the bottled juice that’s right for you:

  1. Head to the Fridge

    Look for the term “HPP,” “high-pressure processed,” “cold-pressed” or “cold pasteurized” on the label. You will always find these juices in a refrigerator, not on a shelf.

    Many bottled juices are treated with heat to kill pathogenic organisms for safety and to extend the shelf life of the product. However, high-pressure processing (HPP) subjects the bottled juice to very high pressure, which inactivates pathogens and helps protect nutrients and flavor.

  1. Go for Green

    You can narrow the field significantly by choosing a green juice, as these products are more likely to use a higher percentage of leafy green vegetables. We recommend sticking to the 80/20 guideline, where 80 percent of the juice ingredients are vegetables, and about 20 percent are fruit. Green juices are broadly more likely to hit that 80/20 benchmark. And more vegetables typically means a juice that’s lower in sugar.

  1. Check the Ingredients

    It shouldn’t take 10 minutes to read the ingredients list! Look for juice made from 100 percent produce, and aim for vegetables as the top three ingredients. Items are listed on product labels in the order of the percentage they make up of the whole recipe, so if the first few ingredients are vegetables, you’re likely getting a juice that has a high percentage of veggies.

[1] SOURCE: IRI data through 9/6/15. Cold-pressed juice (defined as Refrigerated Juice Brands that are High Pressure Processed) is the third fastest dollar % growth category in FDM among categories greater than $10MM.