The Popular Brand Behind Trader Joe's Very Green Juice Smoothies

Thanks to creative packaging and unique product names, we love browsing the aisles at Trader Joe's almost as much as we enjoy munching on their treats. We enjoy it so much that we even ranked 30 of the absolute best snacks you can get from the store. But while we generally know what we're getting out of the items we purchase, one big mystery associated with this grocery chain is where some of these products actually come from like its refreshing smoothie, since it's famously tight-lipped about its sources. 

Luckily, we've cracked the code on a few items like Trader Joe's paprika and now it's time to reveal who makes its popular Very Green Juice Smoothies. According to Eater, Naked Juice is the brand behind these fruit and veggie-filled drinks. To figure this out, the outlet requested recall and alert data from the FDA and USDA, which it was able to attain due to the Freedom of Information Act. This gave the website the names of suppliers that have worked with Trader Joe's at some point and Naked was one of the businesses included.

Armed with this information, a quick comparison of the Very Green smoothie to Naked's Green Machine shows a very similar ingredient list. 

Trader Joe's and Naked Juice's green smoothies have almost identical ingredient lists

You'll find apple juice as the first ingredient for both — from concentrate for the Green Machine. Plus, both bottles contain 270 calories and the amounts of carbs and protein for each are within one gram of each other. Both bottles also pack in mango puree, pineapple juice, kiwi puree, spirulina, banana puree, broccoli, spinach, barley grass, ginger, parsley, and garlic. The only differences? The Trader Joe's smoothie contains chlorella, a type of algae that boasts protein and vitamin B12, as well as a blue-green algae that's separate from the spirulina. 

On the flip side, Naked's Green Machine offers alfalfa, which WebMD reports may help lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes. It also contains wheatgrass and kale. Aside from these minute differences, however, the similarities between the two beverages are too glaring to ignore.

It's possible that the alleged collaboration between Trader Joe's and Naked may extend past green smoothies. Eater also uncovered that the ingredients in the former's Mango 100% Juice Smoothie are suspiciously similar to the latter's Mighty Mango fruit smoothie, down to the mango puree, apple juice, orange juice, banana puree, lemon juice, beta carotene, and calorie count (300 versus 290). 

So if you're a fan of Naked drinks, you'll likely love these Trader Joe's staples and vice versa. But as for which company makes the better packaging, only you can decide.