Is simply smoothie real fruit?

Simply Smoothie is a popular brand of premade fruit smoothies that can be found in grocery stores and convenience stores across the United States. With their eye-catching packaging and claims of being made with “real fruit,” Simply Smoothies have become a go-to grab-and-go breakfast or snack for many consumers looking for something quick, easy, and nutritious.

But just how real is the fruit in Simply Smoothies? This article will take an in-depth look at the Simply Smoothie ingredients and nutrition facts to determine if their smoothies live up to the “real fruit” hype or rely more heavily on juices, purees, and natural flavors to mimic the taste and texture of real blended produce. Factors like the ratio of whole fruits and vegetables versus fruit juices and purees, the grams of sugar, and the overall micronutrient profile in Simply Smoothies will be analyzed and compared to homemade smoothies made with fresh, whole ingredients.

Information on the Simply Smoothie blending and manufacturing process will also be investigated to understand how their products are mass produced and what effect this may have on the integrity of the ingredients. Insight from food scientists and nutrition experts will help assess how well Simply Smoothies retain nutrients and fiber from whole fruits compared to a smoothie freshly blended at home.

This thorough exploration of the Simply Smoothie production methods, ingredient lists, and nutrition stats will provide consumers with the facts to determine if these grab-and-go smoothies are nutritionally comparable to a homemade blend or rely more heavily on juices, purees, and fillers to reduce costs and maximize shelf life.

Simply Smoothie Ingredient Lists

Analyzing the ingredient labels on Simply Smoothie products is the first step in understanding if these smoothies live up to their “real fruit” claims. Simply Smoothies come in a wide variety of flavor combinations, so examining a sample of their most popular varieties provides insight into their overall formulas and ingredient sourcing.

Some examples of Simply Smoothie varieties and their ingredient lists:

Strawberry Banana Smoothie: Strawberries, bananas, apple juice, yogurt (milk, cultures), pectin, natural flavors, lemon juice concentrate, cellulose gel and cellulose gum, vitamin C, calcium lactate.

Mango Pineapple Smoothie: Pineapple, mangos, apple juice concentrate, clarified pineapple juice concentrate, yogurt (milk, cultures), natural flavors, pectin, citric acid, ascorbic acid.

Mixed Berry Smoothie: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, bananas, yogurt (milk, cultures), lemon juice concentrate, natural flavors, pectin, locust bean gum, cellulose gel, vitamin C, calcium lactate.

Tropical Tango Smoothie: Mangos, bananas, pineapples, apricots, white grape juice, clarified pineapple juice concentrate, yogurt powder (cultures, whey protein concentrate, nonfat dry milk), natural flavors, cellulose powder, guar gum, ascorbic acid.

At a glance, most of the Simply Smoothie varieties appear to contain some kind of actual fruit puree or juice, with strawberries, mangos, bananas, and pineapples frequently listed. However, upon closer inspection, many also contain apple or white grape juice concentrates higher up on the ingredient list than the featured fruit. These clarified fruit juice concentrates are likely added for additional sweetness and texture.

Several varieties also list “natural flavors” alongside the fruit purees, indicating additional flavorings are used to heighten the fruit taste profile. Thickeners like pectin, locust bean gum, cellulose gel or cellulose powder are common additions as well. These kinds of stabilizers and emulsifiers help improve the mouthfeel and extend the shelf life during refrigeration.

Overall, while Simply Smoothies do contain some blended fruit and fruit juices, they appear formulated to also rely on natural flavorings, added sugars via fruit juice concentrates, and thickeners likely to cut costs and simplify large batch production. This indicates a reduced amount of actual whole fruits and vegetables compared to homemade smoothies prepared from fresh, whole produce.

Sugar Content

In addition to analyzing ingredients, looking at the nutrition facts and sugar content in Simply Smoothies provides more insights into these products’ overall health profile.

Some examples of the nutrition facts for select Simply Smoothie flavors in 11 oz containers:

Very Berry Smoothie

  • Calories: 190
  • Total Fat: 1g
  • Total Carbohydrates: 44g
  • Sugars: 41g
  • Protein: 3g

Peach Perfect Smoothie

  • Calories: 210
  • Total Fat: 1g
  • Total Carbohydrates: 50g
  • Sugars: 47g
  • Protein: 3g

Island Splash Smoothie

  • Calories: 210
  • Total Fat: 0.5g
  • Total Carbohydrates: 51g
  • Sugars: 48g
  • Protein: 2g

Looking at these nutrition panels, one thing stands out – the high sugar content in each serving. Most Simply Smoothie varieties contain between 40-50 grams of sugar per 11 oz bottle, with total carbohydrates making up the vast majority of calories.

For comparison, a homemade smoothie blended from yogurt, milk, and approximately 2 cups mixed fruit and vegetables would contain around 30-40 grams of natural sugars from the whole fruits as well as some fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Simply Smoothies match and often exceed the total sugars of a homemade blend without the additional nutritional benefits.

The addition of fruit juice concentrates as the 2nd and 3rd ingredients likely contributes to these high sugar levels. While juices do originate from fruit, the concentration process removes the beneficial fiber. Added sugars in beverages are swiftly absorbed and can lead to energy crashes and increased calorie consumption compared to eating whole fruits and vegetables.

So in terms of sugar content, Simply Smoothies are dominated by added sugars and sweeteners despite their real fruit claims.

Vitamin and Mineral Content

In addition to sugars and fiber, evaluating the vitamin and mineral profile of Simply Smoothies compared to homemade blends gives a better picture of their overall nutrition. Here is a comparison of the % Daily Values for select micronutrients in an 11oz Simply Smoothie vs. an equivalent homemade smoothie:

Vitamin/Mineral Simply Smoothie Homemade Smoothie
Vitamin C 15% DV 100% DV
Vitamin A 2% DV 15% DV
Calcium 10% DV 20% DV
Iron 2% DV 10% DV
Potassium 2% DV 15% DV

As illustrated, Simply Smoothies lag behind homemade blends in micronutrients, providing 2-15% Daily Value for vitamins like A and C and minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium per serving. Blending whole fruits and vegetables at home better preserves these sensitive vitamins and minerals compared to processing produce into juices, concentrates, and purees. The additional strain of shelf-stable storage also degrades Simply Smoothies’ nutrient levels over time.

So homemade smoothies made from fresh, whole ingredients deliver far more comprehensive nutrition in terms of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Simply Smoothies sacrifice some of that nutritional integrity for convenience and shelf life.

Simply Smoothie Blending Process

To fully evaluate the nutritional content of Simply Smoothies, it’s important to understand how they are manufactured and what happens to the ingredients.

According to Simply Smoothie statements, their smoothing blending process happens in large batches at high speeds to achieve the right consistency and smoothness. The fruit, vegetable, and juice concentrates are combined in stainless steel tanks and blended while stabilizers and additional ingredients are added in.

The smoothie blends are then pumped into plastic bottles and subjected to a pasteurization process involving high heat and pressure to help extend shelf life unrefrigerated. Once packaged, the Simply Smoothies are transported to grocery stores and convenience stores where they are sold chilled in refrigerated cases.

This high volume production and preservation compromises some nutritional quality for convenience and accessibility. The heat pasteurization depletes vitamin C and other delicate micronutrients, while the oxygenation from blending degrades compounds like antioxidants. Fiber content is also reduced from extensive blending of whole fruits into juice-like textures.

Comparatively, homemade smoothies blended minimally from fresh, whole foods retain more nutrients, fiber, and structural integrity of the produce. Light processing and immediate consumption ensure homemade smoothies deliver greater nutritional quality.

Expert Opinions

To further assess how Simply Smoothies’ ingredients and production methods affect their nutrition compared to fresh smoothies, insights from food scientists and nutritionists are helpful:

While processed smoothies like Simply Smoothies do contain some fruit and vegetable materials, the effects of concentrate production, extended storage, and commercial processing reduce many of the benefits you’d get from newly blended produce,” notes Dr. Amanda Baker, food science professor.

Registered dietitian Dana Lewis explains, “Ingredients like fruit juice concentrates, natural flavors, and stabilizers may mimic some qualities of real fruit, but they cannot fully replace the optimal nutrition you get from blending whole foods at home. Minimal processing always retains more nutrients.

Given the high sugar content, low fiber levels, and reduced vitamin/mineral densities in commercial smoothies, they should be an occasional treat. Homemade smoothies and whole fruits and vegetables should make up the bulk of a healthy diet,” advises nutrition consultant Monica Hill, RD.

These experts agree while packaged smoothies like Simply Smoothie provide some fruit-based nutrients, they lack the full benefits of freshly prepared smoothies from whole ingredients. The convenience comes at a nutritional cost.

Cost Comparison

In addition to comparing nutritional value, it is worth looking at the cost difference between Simply Smoothies and homemade blends.

On average, an 11oz Simply Smoothie costs $3-$4 when purchased individually or $2.50-$3 per bottle when bought in packs. That equates to $30-$48 dollars per dozen.

In comparison, making a similar smoothie at home using frozen fruit, yogurt, milk, and juice would cost:

  • Frozen fruit blend (1 cup): $0.50
  • Yogurt (1 cup): $0.75
  • Milk (1 cup): $0.25
  • Fruit juice (1/2 cup): $0.20
  • Total: $1.70

Multiplying $1.70 by 12 servings brings a dozen homemade smoothies to approximately $20, nearly half the cost of premade Simply Smoothies purchased individually. Buying frozen fruits and produce in bulk further reduces homemade blending costs per serving.

So while Simply Smoothies offer more convenience for on-the-go lifestyles, making your own smoothies is clearly the more budget-friendly option.


When it comes to determining if Simply Smoothies provide real, whole fruit nutrition, the answer isn’t black and white. Simply Smoothies do utilize some fruit purees and juices in their formulas, so they contain traces of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in produce.

However, the reliance on clarified juice concentrates, natural flavors, purees, and stabilizers along with high-heat processing reveals Simply Smoothies also use a variety of methods to mimic fresh fruit qualities while cutting costs and maximizing shelf life. Their smoothie blends undergo more intense processing and pasteurization compared to homemade smoothies made from raw, whole ingredients.

In comparing nutrition labels, Simply Smoothies lag behind fresh smoothies in fiber content, vitamin/mineral density, and contain added sugars through juice concentrates. The convenience of ready-to-drink Simply Smoothies comes at a nutritional cost compared to do-it-yourself smoothies. Their smoothies qualify more as an occasional fruit-flavored treat rather than a regular nourishing meal replacement.

While everyone’s budget and lifestyle affect food choices, understanding what you gain and lose nutritionally is important. Blending smoothies at home maximizes natural fruit benefits and avoids excess sugars and processing. But for an occasional grab-and-go breakfast, Simply Smoothies provide adequate fruit flavor and some nutrients, albeit not as “real” or fresh as homemade. Either way, increasing your overall intake of whole fruits, vegetables, and fiber is the healthiest approach.

Leave a Comment