Pepsi Tests Weird Fruit Drink for Kids

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NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Public health advocates and government officials have been pushing all year for schools and food companies to make healthier dishes for kids, but Pepsi may have taken this idea too far.

Tropicana, which is owned by Pepsi (Stock Quote: PEP), is planning to test a new drink in select stores next month that is marketed to kids and moms and intended to get children to consume more fruit in their daily diet.

The drink, called Tropolis, is a strange hybrid of a fruit beverage and snack food. Essentially, this 80-calorie drink, which comes in three flavors -- cherry, grape and apple-- is being marketed by Pepsi as a “new portable kids snack” that consists of “real squeezable fruit.” So if kids want to get their fruit fix for the day, they can pick up one of these drinks and press the container until squeezed fruit comes out to eat and/or drink.

Of course, just because there's fruit in the drink doesn't mean that drink is incredibly healthy. Pepsi has yet to release many nutritional details about the product, except for its calorie count and the fact that it satisfies 100% of a child’s daily vitamin C needs and is rich in fiber. But then again, SunnyD meets most of these criteria as well, contains just 120 calories and it's widely considered unhealthy for kids. So how is Tropolis any better?

“Price, availability and convenience are the three main barriers for moms when it comes to squeezing fruits and vegetables into everyday routines, leaving Americans, including children, short on the five to 13 fruit and vegetable servings recommended for everyday consumption,” the company said in a press release. “Tropicana Tropolis aims to deliver a fun fruit experience in a convenient and affordable way.”

OK, Pepsi may have a point. This drink may prove useful for families that don’t generally have the time, or resources, to stock up their fridge with fruits. But that doesn't mean it's healthy, and it certainly doesn't make Tropolis a “fun fruit experience." The drink sounds like a nightmare for any woman or child who has ever been fickle about what to eat because of its texture.

The Tropolis joins a long list of odd food products that have been announced this year, from KFC’s Double Down to Friendly’s mac and cheese quesadilla kids’ meal.

For more strange foods introduced in 2010, check out this MainStreet article.

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