Proper Soda Co.’s Hibiscus Soda is the followup flavor to its flagship Hop Soda. Unlike Hop Soda, which was essentially introducing a flavor that is rarely seen in non-alcoholic beverages, this variety is a bit more familiar. It uses a rather simple formulation of carbonated water, sugar, citric acid, hibiscus extract, grape extract (for coloring) and natural flavors.
Belvedere will release two custom made and limited editions to celebrate Bond’s vodka martini ‘Shaken not Stirred’, and its partnership with the 24th Bond adventure, SPECTRE. In an unprecedented move, Belvedere has replaced the iconic Belvedere Palace with the famous MI6 headquarters.
Sprizz-O is a new brand of juice and seltzer water blends that comes in six varieties. Packaged in 12 oz. long-neck bottles, each beverage is also sweetened with can sugar and contains 50 calories. We've seen similar concepts come and go, but we think Sprizz-O is off to a good start.
Pickle Juice Shot is a 2.5 oz. product that was designed to help alleviate cramping during exercise. This functionality comes from a blend of vinegar, salt, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin E. The pickle flavor comes from dill flavoring and appears no bearing on whether this product works or not; it appears to be a marketing ploy (or perhaps placebo) more than something that actually needs to be there.
East Imperial is a New Zealand-based beverage company that produces a line of high-end tonic and mixers. Packaged in 5 oz. glass bottles with an old world look and textured label, we think that the high end vibe that will certainly work well on-premise.
Blue Monkey has been selling coconut water for a while now, but this is the first time the company has marketed USDA Organic offerings. It’s also the first time that Blue Monkey has employed a 16.9 oz. Tetra Pak carton for its coconut water.
Whynatte has come a long way since our first encounter with the brand way back in 2009. Gone is the notion of being a hybrid RTD coffee and energy drink (you won’t find any taurine or added vitamins in this one). Instead, the manufacturers have retooled the product to be a great tasting and naturally sweetened latte.
Amid a flurry of holiday- and seasonal-themed beverages to hit the market, Stumptown has launched a new "Winter Cheer" variety. The limited-release flavor is an extension of the company's line of ready-to-drink cold-brew coffee and milk blends.
From our perspective, Purps approach, which is to play in variety of beverage categories with a specific functionality for each product, is way too wide to be successful. Nailing one product type in one segment -- perhaps with a few SKUs -- seems like a much better approach.
Two common threads link this year’s best: One, brands have maintained a focus on health-driven trends, initiating timely innovation in both formulation and packaging. Two, companies have executed on multi-channel retail and distribution strategies at a time when mainstream consumers become increasingly aware and actively pursue beverages in natural-focused categories.
Earlier this year, KeVita splashed into the kombucha category with the launch of its Master Brew Kombucha, a brand extension that is formulated with the company's proprietary probiotic culture and sweetened with a blend of evaporated cane sugar and stevia. While we enjoyed the taste of the varieties that we sampled, it's the packaging where we feel KeVita has put its best foot forward.
Alley Cat is a Tennessee-style “fruit tea” that contains 48 percent juice, including orange juice, pineapple juice and lemon juice (all from concentrate). For us, the formulation feels much more like a juice cocktail than anything that resembles tea.
Bruce Tea is a new tea brand that is -- as you might have guessed -- named after the well-known martial arts expert/actor. The teas come in two lines, one bottled and one canned, the latter positioned as somewhat of an energy drink offering. Overall, we enjoyed the formulation of the products, yet while Bruce Lee is certainly an icon, his appeal on a tea product some 40 years after his death is certainly hard to gauge.
Marketed as "the world's first chewable, drinkable juice," Chuice (which derives its name from the words chew and juice), is made with seeds, nuts, herbs, and greens floating in the liquid. For us, the beverage is one that, while extremely innovative, is not currently as marketable and presentable as it could be.