In just a couple weeks, the Iowa State Fair will begin. If you aren’t from Iowa, you may not know just how big of a deal this is. It has often been said that the Iowa State Fair is the best state fair in the nation. There was even a broadway musical written about it! We have a very strategic plan when it comes to buying food at the fair, which we will be sure to share with you once the fair rolls around. One of our favorite things to buy at the fair is lemonade that is sweetened with honey. For you Iowans planning on going to the fair, you can get it at the Honey Producers stand on the top floor of the Ag building (right above the butter cow!). It is less expensive than other lemonade of the fair and the honey gives it a flavor that is like no other lemonade you have ever tried!
But for the other 103 days of summer vacation, we don’t have the luxury of buying that lemonade. Finding the perfect lemonade to drink at home can be challenging…which is why we put lemonade to the test in a Food-Face Off! We decided to go with Simply Lemonade, which we feel is the standard for store-bought lemonade. There were a couple other brands that we wanted to try (Newman’s Own and Anderson Erickson), but ultimately decided to go with Tropicana Trop 50 Lemonade. It was close in price and they designed their container to look just like Simply Lemonade, so we figured it may be similar in taste. Here are the results:
Cost: $2.49 for 1.75 L
Nutrition: Serving size 8 fl oz: Calories 120, Sugars 28g
Taste: Good balance of sweetness and tartness, Natural lemon taste
Tropicana Trop 50 Lemonade
Cost: $2.29 for 1.75 L
Nutrition: Serving size 8 fl oz: Calories 50, Sugars 12g
Taste: Almost has an artificial sweetener taste (though there is no artificial sweetener in it), and the lemon flavor tastes like artificial “lemon flavor” as opposed to real lemons
Cost Breakdown: There is only a $0.20 difference but the Tropicana Lemonade is slightly cheaper so it gets the win here. It is worth noting that the AE Lemonade is very inexpensive and can sometimes be on sale for around $1.00! If it was in the Face-Off, it would have won for sure.
Cost Winner: Tropicana Lemonade
Nutrition Breakdown: Going into the Face-Off, we knew that Tropicana would win. They cut the calories and sugar in half and still use natural ingredients.
Nutrition Winner: Tropicana Lemonade
Taste: It is kind of hard to describe this, but if you were to try both lemonades you would know exactly what we are talking about. As simple as we can put it, Tropicana tastes fake while Simply Lemonade tastes real. Tropicana is made with natural ingredients, but it tastes more like water with splenda and some artificial lemon flavor added. Simply Lemonade tastes just like fresh squeezed – sweet, tart and so refreshing. That is the taste we prefer. We have been on an Arnold Palmer kick this summer (the drink, not the person). Half iced tea and half lemonade…such a great combo. The Tropicana is actually a really good choice for that because most of the lemonade flavor is overpowered by the tea. So if you are buying lemonade to mix into something, the Tropicana is a good buy. But for just a straight up glass of good ol’ fashioned lemonade, Simply Lemonade is the winner.
Taste Winner: Simply Lemonade
Tropicana is the winner for nutrition and the winner for price (by just $0.20). If you are buying lemonade to mix with something else, like tea, it is a good option. It will give you a lemonade taste without a lot of calories and sugar. But if you are looking for a refreshing glass of real tasting lemonade, Simply Lemonade is the way to go. It’s like drinking fresh squeezed without having to do any of the work! So for a pure glass of refreshing lemonade, there is only one winner for us:
Overall Winner: Simply Lemonade
What’s your favorite brand of lemonade? Do any of you make fresh squeezed? We have before, but without a juicer it takes forever to make.
Don’t forget, you have until 10:00pm CST to enter to win a 1-year subscription to Everyday with Rachael Ray!