With many, benefits are either exaggerated or outright fabricated by bloggers and supplement marketers.
For example, we recently exposed red prickly pear cactus and the embellishments about it.
However in the case of acai berry or fruit, the health benefits are promising.
Though when it comes to acai bowls, those are kind of a scam:
- The acai puree or juice has antioxidant activity which is just 1.7% that of the freeze-dried powder. That’s because the antioxidants degrade quickly after processing.
- Bowls have immense amounts of added sugar. They do this because naturally, the acai fruit has almost no sugar content.
- They are expensive, even if you make them yourself using the frozen Sambazon smoothie packs. Those average $6 for a 4-pack and you will need at least 2 per bowl.
Given these drawbacks, clearly the most advantageous way to take advantage of this true superfood is to use the powder. At home.
Question is, which brand of organic powder is best?
You can go read half-baked reviews on websites that are just trying to sell the stuff. Sure, we’re doing the same, but we actually use this ingredients almost daily.
Here’s a screenshot from our Amazon order history:
As you can see, we buy it a lot! Plus, that’s not even including the purchases made elsewhere. So when we write a review on acai, you can trust us as being heavy users of it!
What are the top brands?
For USDA certified organic acai powder, the most popular and bestselling brands are Navitas, Terrasoul Superfoods, Feel Good Organics, Kiva, KOS, Sunfood Superfoods, Biofinest, Bare Organics, and Sambazon. The latter is the bestselling brand for frozen acai puree, as used in commercially made bowls as well as frozen packets found at the grocery store. However, Sambazon hardly sells any freeze-dried powder.
Reviews of acai brands
We have tried almost every brand on the market, however we are not reviewing several of the 2nd tier acai brands here for the following reasons:
Too expensive: While pricing does vary by retailer, from our experience the brands Bare Organics and Sunfood Superfoods average up to $5 or more per ounce. That’s ridiculous!
Low quality: KOS acai juice powder is a great price per ounce but subpar in quality. It’s a very light pink, rather than the deep purple color you should expect.
Questionable companies: We have contacted Kiva twice and have never received a response. It’s not our inquiries accidentally ended up in their spam, because we contacted them through their website contact form. Each submission was months apart too, so it’s not like a momentary website glitch caused it.
Unlike Kiva, we don’t have the same issue with Biofinest (we’ve never contacted them). But they are a small company with a lot of products. They list acai as a “new arrival” on their site. We want to stick with companies who are larger and have been selling it for a while.
With those out of the way, what follows is a list of our 3 favorite brands. We buy and use these ourselves. Each has pros and cons.
1. Feel Good Organics
While there are a few obscure sites selling them, for the most part, they are an Amazon biz.
Feel Good is based in Seattle, WA and yes, they are responsive. We’ve contacted them a couple times within the past year or two. Once for a product problem (defective bag with broken seam) and another time, with a product question. Both times, they replied immediately. In the case of the defect, they sent us a replacement ASAP.
They focus on around 15 superfoods and while we haven’t tried all, we do notice distinct differences in their product quality versus most other brands. It’s obvious they’re not just using the same supplier and slapping on their label.
In the case of Feel Good’s acai, it tastes the best. The powder is less gritty/sandy than Navitas Organics, which is probably the number one selling brand of acai on the market. While it is also freeze-dried, Feel Good seems slightly less dry, which makes for easier mixing.
The plastic bags for all of the brands suck to some degree, but Feel Good Organic’s bag sucks the least. It seals easier than the other guys. However to prevent oxidation, buy these clips to get a guaranteed seal. That’s what we do.
The drawback of Feel Good acai is that it tends to be a higher cost per ounce than Navitas. For example, the last 4 oz bag we bought was $12.99. Compare that to the $21.97 we last paid for an 8 oz bag of Navitas. That’s about 18% more per ounce.
Of course, prices change all the time. To check the current price, here is the Amazon page for Feel Good’s acai.
Just like goji berries which come from Chia, acai berries come from another part of the world; South America. The exact country or origin can vary but Navitas tends to use Brazil.
Since this food is coming from far away, you don’t want to buy it from some little brand who may just be re-packaging a bulk shipment they bought on Alibaba!
No, you want a major seller who has been sourcing the ingredient for many years and actually has operations at the source.
While Sambazon pioneered the acai smoothie packets and bulk pulp for the food industry, Navitas pioneered the powder. They have been selling it for nearly two decades and given their volume, it’s safe to say they dedicate significant resources to it.
That’s probably the biggest reason you should buy Navitas. It’s a trustworthy brand.
After purchasing dozens and dozens of bags, we can assure you it’s consistent in quality and taste. It’s a very dark purple.
Drawbacks include Navitas being grittier and larger granules versus Feel Good Organics. However, that may mean less grinding/processing, which may help preserve the antioxidants better.
Another drawback is that Navitas bags. Once powder gets inside the zipper you can’t seal it. Again, why you need these clips. You need to keep air out to prevent oxidation. Otherwise, your antioxidants oxidize before you eat them.
Since it is often a good price, we actually buy this brand the most often. You can check the current price on Amazon here.
3. Terrasoul Superfoods
We buy their mulberries all the time. Literally every time. However, we rarely buy acai from Terrasoul.
It’s not that we have any quality concerns with them. Terrasoul is one of the best and largest brands on the market for superfoods. Their customer service is responsive. We rarely encounter quality control issues.
The main reason we don’t buy Terrasoul acai powder more frequently is because of price.
Our last purchase was $12.45 for a 4 oz bag. That tends to be more than what we pay per ounce versus Navitas. Feel Good Organics is a better quality acai versus Terrasoul, yet both have a price per ounce which is fairly close (at least historically).
In short, when we want the best, we will buy Feel Good. When we want the economical choice, we stick with Navitas. Usually it is the latter, simply because we go through a LOT of it.
The good news about Terrasoul organic acai powder is that it’s a very dark purple and less gritty than Navitas. Its blending characteristics are on par with Feel Good. Since we mix with only a spoon, this is important. All of their lots are 3rd party tested for quality and contaminants.
The bad news is that Terrasoul zip bags are the absolute worst. They never reseal and when you cut them open, it’s impossible to avoid spilling the powder everywhere.
This is because the bag is not zipped prior to sealing, so there is acai already in the area above the zipper. Kiva bags have the same issue. Watch out if you have marble or stone counters, as this will stain them blue or purple!
How to eat it
The simplest way to eat acai powder will be stir a spoonful or two into a glass of non-dairy milk, such as oat or almond. If you use protein powder, you can mix it with that, too.
Here’s how we eat it for breakfast everyday…
- Put one serving of brown rice protein powder in a bowl.
- Add ¼ to ½ cup of dried quinoa flakes.
- Add 1 Tb of raw unsweetened cacao powder.
- A few squeezes of Lakanto liquid monk fruit (zero glycemic impact).
- Bring some water to boil and slowly pour it into bowl, stirring with spoon as you do so. Add water until your preferred consistency is reached.
- Stir in any extras you want, such as blueberries, almonds, etc.
- Lastly, stir in 2 Tb of acai powder. You want to do this last, because you want to minimize its heat exposure.