Juice as Status Symbol

Just as carrying a Starbucks coffee cup has become a celebrity fashion accessory and a slung-over-the-shoulder yoga mat can signify a certain devotion to spiritual fitness, porting a clear bottle of green vegetable juice has evolved into a status symbol. Initially, the juicing market was supported mostly by people doing liquid-only cleanses, marketed as a way to rid the body of toxins and bloat. Now, more consumers are drinking juice as a meal replacement, a quick infusion of vegetables or to convey the impression of superior health and discipline.

WSJ’s Katherine Rosman reports that certain juice bottles have become status symbols, mostly because of what they cost—as much as $10 and sometimes more, depending on where you go. Some people are willing to make the tradeoff of buying cold pressed juices instead of taking the time to make their own. Says a health-and-wellness trainer: “I know it’s expensive but I would rather have a juice than get my nails done.”

There is an Organic Avenue in my neighborhood and I once went in for a small bottle of carrot juice and a kale salad thinking I’d try to do something light and healthy for lunch. It ended up costing something like $20, and I never went back. Instead, I now pick up a $1.99 bottle of carrot juice at Trader Joe’s and don’t really think about it.

Photo: Kurman Communications


22 Comments / Post A Comment

aetataureate (#1,310)

Juice isn’t even as good for you as the whole items it comes from, let alone to replace entire meals, good god.

Chicago, it’s times like these I value your relative lack of new-age dodos.

wrappedupinbooks (#1,426)

@aetataureate I know. I KNOW. Everything about this trend drives me absolutely bonkers. You’re taking food that’s objectively good for you, taking out all the fiber and substance, and raising its glycemic index. It just makes me want to shake people.

LookUponMyWorks (#2,616)

@wrappedupinbooks @aetataureate thank you, both, you’ve summed up my feelings to-a-t!

aetataureate (#1,310)

@LookUponMyWorks I don’t even have a problem with juice as a beverage you enjoy sometimes or whatever, either. For it to be a “””status item””” seems like it would enrage the food activist crowd along with the whole foods crowd. Bringing the people together!

That thing recently where that reporter did a juice cleanse with advice from Connie Britton really just made me mad that Connie Britton was involved with juice cleanses. COME ON! (Gob voice)

hopeyglass (#3,298)

@aetataureate I’m getting ready to be priced out with the organic juice bar (sorry, juice bar/grocer) that opened down the street. I think especially because there’s like a thousand taquerias making carrot and orange juice for so cheap. Also: never assume food activist crowd is reasonable, we are, for real, the worst.

@wrappedupinbooks Don’t shake them too hard, they might pass out.

aetataureate (#1,310)

@stuffisthings But contents may have settled!

Ellie (#62)

If you can’t digest a lot of fiber, juice can be an OK way to get nutrients without having to take vitamin pills. Not everyone is looking for as much fiber as possible all of the time.

wrappedupinbooks (#1,426)

@Ellie I will grant you that exception, but bear in mind that it is just that: an exception. The vast majority of people should really be eating more fiber and it is idiotic for them to be paying a premium to have it taken out of their food.

aetataureate (#1,310)

@Ellie An apple, a banana, and a handful of grapes or an orange (for example) is not “as much fiber as possible all the time.” It’s more like 8-10 grams of fiber which is about one third of what most people need per day.

Ellie (#62)

@aetataureate Sure, but for some people, such as me, who wouldn’t eat all those things in one day because it’s too much fiber for them, you could drink juice instead. I do realize that people who avoid insoluble fiber is an extremely small minority though, just playing devil’s advocate about one benefit of juice.

Spendat (#5,198)

When I was interning recently (ne’e holding a real job for not real money), my boss kept telling me to try the organic juice store in our neighborhood, because it is “sooo good” and she loves it. I smiled politely and said that sounded nice. She kept asking if I’d been yet, on an almost daily basis, and it took every bit of self control I had not to scream that I wasn’t going to buy a damn juice that cost more than an hour and a half of work. Don’t even get me started on her restaurant recommendations. Silly rich people. (Apologies to rich people who aren’t completely tactless and out of touch.)

hopeyglass (#3,298)

@Spendat …. did you work on the Hyde Park/Woodlawn border by any chance? Because then we had the same internship. :\

Spendat (#5,198)

@hopeyglass No, NYC. But it is good to know that the same pain is felt throughout the U.S., I guess.

aetataureate (#1,310)

@all These comments make me wish there were a subsection in the Intern Guide called “Silly Rich People Bosses”

Blondsak (#2,299)

I love the organic juice restaurant near my work place in DC. I have a 16 oz. juice nearly every day for lunch. Yes, it’s rather costly ($35/week or so), but I’ve actually saved money doing it because my grocery bill has been almost cut in half since I started & I waste less food at home. Also, I have more energy in the afternoons and just generally feel better.

I know it’s not for everyone and that not everyone can afford it, but I have personally found it worth the money (and, not that this should necessarily be a goal, but I’ve also lost a healthy amount of weight because of it).

sea ermine (#122)

@Blondsak I guess it works if you’re swapping it for food, like having it for lunch. But when I drink juice it’s a replacement for the water I would have with that meal, so I still need to buy the sandwich and soup I’m going to have with my juice. Which sucks because if I were rich I would buy all the juices all of the time.

garli (#4,150)

There’s a place in town that people rave about where the 8 oz juices start at like 8 bucks each and go up from there. I’m always slightly curious but also don’t want to try it and find out I love it.

Beans (#1,111)

There’s a sucker born every minute…

Carrying a $10 bottle of juice very clearly conveys, to me, the status of “sucker.”

Allison (#4,509)

I don’t even like buying Naked Juice when it’s more than $2.50

ceereelyo (#3,552)

buy a juicer and just make your own juice! we got one as a gift and i use it a fair amount, but i have to really be in the mood because I have to clean the sucker out. It didn’t cost that much either, we got a breville juice fountain and it does the job. I buy the ingredients at Trader Joe’s because their carrots and apples are cheap and I wouldn’t necessarily want to eat them, or I use produce that I is on the verge of going bad/I’m not going to eat them. my friend had tons of kale in her csa box earlier this year and I made a lot of juice out of it. Cheap way to juice – the clean out your fridge method. I also do the smoothie route, but I feel like that takes more time.

I checked out doing the blueprint cleanse. Once I got over laughing how expensive it would be, I looked up recipes on pinterest and did a one day cleanse. Same thing!

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