Bug Juice

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Bug Juice – is it truly a junk food, you ask? Maybe not per se, but as I examined this little gem in the beverage section of my local convenience store, I just couldn’t resist its charms. On first glance, it seems to be nothing more than a novelty kid’s drink, no more original than those little plastic baby bottles filled with candy that make me vaguely uncomfortable for some reason. Maybe that’s true, but hey – it was 8am, I was hungover, and I bought it. So now we’re going to look at it.

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The label is adorable – there’s a polka-dotted bee…thing, a vampire-fanged spider (obviously the villain in the cartoon tie-in – I mean look at those eyebrows), a humble ladybug that may or may not have been poisoned by Fangs Eyebrow, and that obviously drunk guy at the bottom that my Internet research tells me must be some sort of centipede/millipede hybrid. There’s also some sort of scared worm, but he seems to be more of a bit player. What a cast of characters! Who knows what kinds of wacky adventures they’ll get into next? We don’t know a whole lot about their backgrounds, but I did find this:

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Let’s ignore the “especially for kids” part and get to the real meat: FROM THE JUNGLES OF THE GREAT NORTH COAST! Which coast? What continent? These guys are getting more interesting all the time!

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There’s also a giant American flag, which I didn’t immediately notice in the store, being all absorbed in the potential mishaps of the Bug Brigade. I have several questions about that flag. Most obviously, what is it doing there? It has nothing to do with my interesting insect friends. Why is it so prominent? Do they really think I’m going to care that my Bug Juice is made in the U.S.A., when there’s so much more going on here?

I don’t have the answers to any of these questions, so let’s move on to the drink itself. As you can see, the liquid is colored neon blue, and is described as “Berry Raspberry”. I would think this to be an unlikely flavor for actual bug juice, but who am I to question? I also find the term “berry raspeberry” to be a bit redundant; I suppose it could be taken to mean “raspberry and also some other random berries you may have heard of”, but since the ingredient list predictably only lists “natural and artificial flavors”, we’ll never know.

But how does it taste? If you’re like me, you’re a sucker for all things that are both blue and ingestible. The fact that most blue foods are also raspberry flavored (way to take up the red market, cherry) is just an added bonus. So, as you might imagine, it tastes like most other blue raspberry things – sweet, but also with a nice kick of sour that leaves your lips all puckery and the back of your throat slightly angry at you. Just harken back to Kool-Aid’s Berry Blue, which I consider to be the grandfather of all blue foods, whether or not that is actually true, and you’ll get the idea of how this Bug Juice tastes. The biggest difference is that Bug Juice really amps up the sour – after drinking half of the kid-sized 10 oz. bottle, I felt like I needed to coat the inside of my mouth with a Lip Smacker.

An inexplicably award-shaped ribbon urges me to meet the bugs at www.drinkbugjuice.com. I wanted to, I really did. I was dying to know more about my new friends. However, going to that URL results in a holding page, informing me that the website is in development and will be online soon. Imagine my crushing disappointment. Bug Juice, you are a tease in every way.

Bug Juice definitely delivers on the packaging, from the cute critters to the petite size to the mysterious patriotism. Honestly, it could have tasted like Windex and I still wouldn’t have had any hard feelings for Fangs Eyebrow. The truth is, this drink is marketed just for kids, and the taste is something only a kid would really want to drink. As an adult, I’m probably not supposed to like blue raspberry as much as I do, but even I can’t get down with drinking a whole bottle of what is essentially the outer coating on a blue Warhead candy. If you’re under the age of twelve, you’ll probably like Bug Juice, and if you’re an adult who eats lemons for fun, you’ll probably like Bug Juice, too. Outside of those demographics, you’ll probably find your face turning inside out after the first swallow.

  • Score: 3.5 out of 5 hamburgers
  • Price: $1.09
  • Size: 10 oz. bottle
  • Purchased at: Circle K
  • Nutritional Quirks: One bottle contains 125% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C, which I suppose explains the extreme sourness.

20 thoughts on “Bug Juice”

  1. I also work for Bug Juice with Russ. This is a great company and great people. Thank you to all of you who love us. We work everyday to bring the best juice to our children. Real complaints are taken very seriously and responded to immediately. We have added many new flavors in just the last year and hope they are loved just as much as the original flavors. By the way, all of my children and grand children LOVE Bug Juice. Again, THANK YOU to all of our fantastic fans!!!

  2. seriously now, i was looking to find the actual ingredients and no luck… heck! has anyone herd of nutrition… what happened to juice being real from real fruits, diabetes, malnutrition, obesity duh that’s why they have the american flag on it… welcome Americans to stupidity land

  3. Tum-E Yummies are better for you. Bug Juice has too much sugar! No wonder why childhood obesity is on the rise!

  4. Omg i was so happy when i found this i luv bug juice and i have since i was 3 and i can olny find it at this tiny store in oregon and at my school they only sell tummie-yummies(nastyness) and its nice to see that grown-ups flip out over this stuff too! best drink ever and my dadz happy i like drinks like this better than soda and engry drinks that all the other kids like

  5. I love Bug Juice; I use to get it all the time as a kind and now all I can find are those nasty tummie-yummies. I’m glad I just happen to stumble apon this blog, and Lesl? If you do not want her to drink Bug Juice then let her try a Tummie-yummie. i hate the things but they are better for you.

  6. Although my friend gives her daughter Bug Juice to appease her and keep her quiet in her carseat, and the bugs on the label are cute- have you actually looked at the ingredients in this stuff?! I would never let my daughter drink it! It may have some Vitamin C, but other than that, It’s basically the same nutritional value as drinking a coke! This stuff is horrible for a child’s development! I will Never drink the stuff- and I find it funny that the Bug Juice website won’t even list the ingredients- because who would buy it? #1 ingredient is High Fructose Corn Syrup!

  7. I live at the bottom of TX & my kids LOVE Bug Juice, but I can’t find it here. I tried to look for retailers online who sell it, but can’t find anything. :(

  8. the flag is there because bug juice was originally a drink served on us navy ships. its high in vitamin c and would keep the sailors well and immunity high.

  9. I haven’t looked at the nutrition label on a bottle of bug juice but I plan too. There is another juice similar to Bug juice, called Hog Wash. It contains artificial sweetener, which is harmful to kids (and everyone for that matter). I will no longer buy hog wash or bug juice if it is found to contain the same. You are fooling yourself if you think that just because it says it has 100% vit. C that it is good for your child. Like someone said above…”Sugar water”. Thats all it is.

  10. Hi Russ, while I have no way to verify that you are indeed the designer, if you are, you made some pretty cute bugs. Can’t be responsible for the haters. Good luck with your future endeavors!

  11. I happen to be the designer of the label for Bug Juice so all the little bugs are my creation. I have worked for Joe and the people at Bug Juice since the beginning and know that they are all very fine people. I have never had any trouble getting paid for my services. Also I happen to be working on the new version of the web site and it will be much nicer and more fun.
    Also new products will be coming soon with more fun bugs on the labels.

  12. My daughter drank a bottle of the Fruity Punch and has had diarrhea and vomiting for two days now. I notified the company about this issue and, so far have been ignored. They will never get any business from my family again. Bug juice brands are a non-caring company and I will report the illness caused by drinking the crap to the proper authorities.

  13. You have no idea how addicted to the blue Bug Juice I am…I drink about 6 a day, I’m not even kidding. I’m the only one who buys them at 7eleven…the guy behind the counter has suggested I find a support group.

  14. This is JUNK FOOD and a JUNK COMPANY.
    Another company marketing kids that’s all it is!!
    NOTHING BUT SUGAR WATER. The company’s web site will never be developed per the owner Joe Norton. LOSER!
    All he is doing is sitting back getting FAT & RICH as he pays his bills when he wants and for whatever amount. BAN BUG JUICE !!
    This company has short paid every bill , raw materials, freight you name it!!!. Due business with them on the inside and you WILL GO OUT OF BUSINESS!!!

  15. thanks for your page on bug juice! yes, the web site is a disappointment. i even emailed them using the email address that’s listed on the web site and guess what? I got a failure notice! the email couldn’t be delivered – it’s an unknown user. Same with the phone number – it’s no good!!! makes me wanna not buy bug juice. i only let my sons have it once in a while because I’m so annoyed by the non-existent web site and non-useful contact information.

  16. Hey, thanks for the comment! Yeah, I was surprised by the amount of vitamin C. I’m not sure if there’s a connection between the sourness and the high levels of that vitamin, but it seems like it would make sense, since lemons are also (duh) sour.

  17. thanks for this blog, its filled my empty void feeling i had because i couldn’t meet those cute bugs on the site. but i found your site, which was amusing too! I went into circle K too, to get me one of those Monster drinks after a long draining kind of day with my son, and low and behold those Bug Juices were right at his eye level. He pointed right to it, and i said “Oh that bug juice” with a tone of discouragement, cuz its looked like pure sugar to me. but when i took a closer look, saw those darn cute bugs and it said it was 100% vitamin C, i was sold. He pick the lemon lime one and yah it was sour all right, it made my eyes squint. just checked the sugar content and its 29 grams, wow that alot. anyway thats for the chat!

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