The Sparta, Michigan-based company has added grape seed extract to its list of natural ingredients in the hope that consumers will understand its potential benefits in promoting cardiovascular health.
However, the company will shy away from placing any specific health claims on the product's packaging.
"There will be some general information and instructions directing the consumer to our website, where there is further information about potential health benefits, or to consult a physician," said Kevin Miller Old Orchard's marketing spokesman.
"We believe there are health benefits and much research has been carried out to back this up," he added, though the company would not - at least at present - finance further studies.
Grape seed extract is derived from the small seeds and skins of red grapes and is rich in flavenoids and phytochemicals that have antioxidant properties that some researchers consider to be greater than vitamin C and vitamin E. Old Orchard will source its extract from the Gallo winery in California.
A stream of research has been released in recent years, suggesting that moderate consumption of red wine may help lower the risk of heart disease.
Old Orchard's argument is that not everyone consumes red wine, which is why this new juice will catch the consumer's imagination, and extend the popularity of the drink away from its traditional base of "kids and moms".
"With the inherent benefits that the grape seed extract brings to our purple grape juice, we believe that our consumer base will expand to include more adults looking to reap the benefits of red wine without having to consume alcohol," said Michael McDonald, vice president of sales and marketing for Old Orchard Brands.
The company assures those familiar with the drink that the added grape seed extract does not change the taste of its juice, and is equally sure it will pull in new punters.
"Certainly nobody considers this a negative move," said Miller.
And as to whether consumers understand the value-added aspect of the product. "The average consumer is smarter than we give them credit for and will go and find out more information elsewhere if they are interested," said Miller.
Beyond the antioxidant powers that the red grape extract resveratrol contains, it also is thought to improve blood circulation and help strengthen blood vessels, which benefit people with heart disease and cancer. The extract's effects on circulation also are beneficial for people with diabetes, leg cramps and varicose veins, and may even extend lifespan, according to a recent study.
Resveratrol is an antioxidant found in a number of plants, including grape skins, raspberries, mulberries and peanuts. Its job in nature is to fight fungus during the rainy season, and it is especially prevalent in grapes used in making red wine. Resveratrol is also sold over-the-counter in the US as a nutritional supplement.
Old Orchard offers consumers 29 frozen concenrate flavors and 36 bottled flavors in a variety of 100 percent fruit juices, blends and low-carbohydrate fruit juice cocktails.