Last Updated: 11/9/2009 4:12 PM
Pumping a drink full of whole grains is a "function" that we haven't seen too much of, so we were anxious to give Odwalla's new Tropical Medley a try. By adding whole grain brown rice, the product is able to deliver 16 grams of whole grains per serving, which also seems to have some impact to the flavor. While the majority of the flavor comes from the fruit that has been added (orange juice, pineapple juice, mango puree, banana puree, passionfruit, and coconut), the product has a gritty finish and a slightly off note that we have to guess is from the brown rice. However, as you drink it, the tropical fruit flavor washes it away and it's about on par with other Odwalla drinks. Really, our biggest gripe with the flavor is how processed it feels, resulting in a taste that doesn't really seem better than most shelf-stable drinks. As for the outside, the product has a very busy label, with text covering just about every available section of the front panel. We'd certainly like to see it cut down a bit. Furthermore, selling whole grains in liquid form is going to take some convincing, especially since these whole grains come with 200 calories and 27g of sugar per serving (and at two servings per bottle, that's a pretty good meal if you chug the whole thing). Overall, it's an interesting concept, but one whose health benefits seem at odds with the caloric formula that's currently in the bottle.