Church and Brennan changed the name and branding of the juice, as well as the bottling process. To extend the product’s shelf life from five to 35 days, Suja switched from glass to plastic bottles. The company bought a $1.3 million high pressure processing machine, which ostensibly preserves the freshness and the nutrients without pasteurizing it, as juices traditionally are.
While it’s tough to argue the faults of fresher, more nutrient-packed juices, Sharp HealthCare dietitian Ursula Ridens warned that the fad may influence people to make poor health choices by going too extreme with the juicing.
“It’s certainly a huge trend, and there are definitely some health benefits, but there are also drawbacks to juicing,” Ridens said.
It helps people who have a hard time getting fruits and vegetables into their diet to consume the right vitamins and anti-oxidants — but fiber is extracted along the way, which is one of the key benefits of produce. These juices can also lead to excessive sugar intake, she said.
“And doing cleanses just isn’t healthy,” Ridens said, referring to diets in which people drink only juices and water for days on end. “When people do cleanses, they eliminate a lot of the other food groups, which can alter their metabolisms and cause cravings and hunger. It’s just not the best way to be healthy.”
But such warnings haven’t stymied the movement toward raw juice consumption. Suja, in fact, is in the process of developing a new line of juices, Brennan said.
“People just don’t want the pasteurization, the additives, the concentrates — all the different things we grew up with,” Brennan said. “The market’s really starting to show that the things that are organic and raw and natural are just what people want to put in their bodies.”