Whether it’s too hot outside and you’re desperate to cool down, or you’re just looking for a sweet sip to accompany your meal, it’s hard to go wrong with canned juice drinks. As opposed to pure fruit juice, juice drinks may be diluted and/or have extra sugar, citric acid, or other ingredients that lead to it having a cheaper price tag—perfect for everyday drinking. As mangoes are one of the top fruits in the country, it follows that their juice drink versions share the same degree of popularity among locals. How do the different brands compare?
Del Monte’s version has a mid-thick consistency that coats the tongue as you sip, but overall stays drinkable and refreshing. Though it’s mango-y in aroma, it tastes more generically fruity (in particular, pineapple-y or even citrus-y) than exclusively mango-like. Still, the sweetness is just right, and we love how it gives a bright (albeit artificial-feeling) tang at the end.
Iba goes for a thinner, more watery consistency and mouthfeel. It has a less tangy, more creamy mango flavor which comes across as sweeter due to the lack of acidity that should balance it out. The wateriness makes it easy to down a whole can in one go, but it overall strikes us as being “bitin.”
Luzona is the same company that produces the famous Gina Mango Nectar. Their juice drink version is on the thicker end of the spectrum—even more so than Del Monte. You get concentrated mango flavor that’s right smack dab being tangy and creamy, true to the real fruit. It also comes across in a more full-bodied way compared to the other brands.
Seasons looks and feels very similar to Luzona, with its sunny yellow hue and thick consistency. It initially tastes like Luzona’s for the most part with its creamy mango notes, but ends with a slightly stronger tang which can feel artificial—similar to, though not as strong as, Del Monte’s—but is not unwelcome. (A taster likens the taste to being closer that of dried mangoes, than that of the fresh stuff.)
Zesto’s version has a more pale appearance. It’s more watery in consistency, but gives a mid-sweet mango flavor that’s more tangy than creamy—but not in an artificial way. In particular, it brings to mind the flavor of less-ripe mangoes, and thus deems it to be tasty in its own right.
The Verdict: Luzona
Luzona’s velvety consistency and creamy, relatively full-on mango flavor makes their mango juice drink a hit with our team. In a pinch, Seasons comes close (they’re practically the same if you’re not tasting them side by side); and if you’re after a tangier sip, Zesto’s your best bet.