You know Simply Orange? That juice that's like Tropicana but more simple? You know, from the earth? Well, turns out, it's not made by a snowy-haired grandpa in an orchard of yesteryear, or squeezed betwixt the toes of some poly-questioning hippies who canvas for medical marijuana in their free time, it's made by the Coca-Cola corporation in a dank industrial park. And it's not simple at all. It's tricking you. Adam Clark Estes at the Atlantic Wire is positively poetic about the whole thing, so I'll let him take it away:
The factory in Florida where the bulk of Coke's orange juice products are made sounds less like a bucolic grove where natural things grow than an oil refinery where natural things go to die.
...Basically, all of their customers are realizing the soda is really bad for you, so demand is shifting to healthy — or at least healthy-seeming — alternatives like juice. Coke also figured out that people are willing to pay 25 percent more for juice that's not processed, that is, not made from concentrate. Enter Simply Orange. It is indeed just oranges, but boy have those oranges been through hell and back.
And here's the secret formula:
The algorithm is designed to accept any contingency that might affect manufacturing, from weather patterns to shifts in the global economy, and make adjustments to the manufacturing process accordingly. Built into the model is a breakdown of the 600-plus flavors that are in orange juice that are tweaked throughout the year to keep flavor consistent and in line with consumer tastes. Coke even sucks the oxygen out of the juice when they send it to be mixed so that they can keep it around for a year or more to balance out other batches.
Now. I'm not such a brainless pollyanna that I've been going around believing that advertising is true and processed food isn't processed. I don't even particularly care. Simply Orange tastes like orange juice—I will probably continue to drink it once in a while—and I know that consumers like consistency and blah blah blah. But on principle, I just have to say, like, it's JUICE. How complicated is juice!? Can't I get a little genuine sunshine in there? Can't I get one drop of sweet orange nectar staining paw paw's favorite overalls? You can't just have a human being squeeze the fruit into the bottle ONE TIME!? Or, at the very least, can you tone down the sun-kissed sanctimoniousness of those commercials? (I already know the answers but sometimes it JUST FEELS GOOD TO YELL.