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Is your Brand just Mango & Lime?

Is your Brand just Mango and Lime Image by Matthew Broomhead

For a number of years as part of my “The Truth about how to influence your clients and colleagues” skills session, I have encouraged the participants to briefly explore the Ribena Mango & Lime question.

I know it may be small, but having looked at the image of the packaging on the carton (at the top of this post), then consider these four questions:

  • What percentage of the drink contents is mango?
  • What percentage is lime?
  • What percentage is water and sugar?
  • What percentage is orange?

After I ask the last one, I say something like “have I put the last question in as a curve ball? Is it there to confuse?”

However, as you can see from the packaging it shows drawings of sliced mangos, some limes and oranges.

It also cleverly prompts the consumer with a question. “Did you know? Fossils suggest that the mango fruit has existed on our planet for around 25 million years.”

I will ask you the same question I ask my groups which is… “Mango fruit may well have existed on this planet for around 25 million years, but my question to you is, does it actually exist in this Mango & Lime drink?”

So I invite you to answer yourself. If you were to put some figures to them, what percentage would you allocate?:

  • % Mango
  • % Lime
  • % water and sugar
  • % Orange juice

The actual answers my surprise you. Before I reveal them, let’s just note another observation on the packaging which is above the drink logo which states “since 1938”.

If something states it has been around for a while then what do people typically and automatically think?

Perhaps it is trustworthy; knowledgeable; should be respected (i.e. respect your elders); experienced; learnt from mistakes etc.

Most people make those assumptions when organisations or people use “experienced gained” or “established since”.

May be you could ethically consider using this to your advantage when marketing your organisation?

So what about the drink answer I hear some of you cry?

As you can see from the image below of the side of the carton:

Mango and Lime contents image

  • 0.5 % Mango
  • 0.5 % Lime
  • 95 % water and sugar
  • 4 % Orange juice

Yes, there is eight times as much orange as there is Mango in a “Mango & Lime” drink.

Yes, there is eight times as much orange as there is Lime in a “Mango & Lime” drink.

Therefore if you were to put the ingredients into one hundred cups, ONLY ONE CUP would contain Mango and Lime. FOUR cups would contain orange (from concentrate!) NINETY FIVE cups would contain sugar and water!

Firstly, what I don’t understand is how trading standards could allow a product that was clearly marketed in this way to be sold.

But secondly, and more importantly, what does this say about the brand Ribena and GlaxoSmithKline group that owned it.

Sadly most consumers don’t seem to read or understand ingredients on packaging. However, for those that do then does this create more trust with the company or less trust? Do you think the outside packaging accurately portray the contents?

I’ll leave you to make up your own mind.


Our brand is the most important thing we have.

  1. Does your brand create more trust with the people you serve or less trust?
  2. Does your brand actually and ethically demonstrate the wonderful ways you provide value?
  3. Have you got something of substance that you offer or are you trying to convince people that only 1% of what you state you are, is what they actually get?


Matthew Broomhead

“Raising the level of Business Skills in Britain”
Creator of Broomhead Business Channel

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