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.
While the notion of calling something “extra rich” is a too matter-of-fact to us, what Ito En has created with its new Teas' Tea Latte sub-line is quite enjoyable.
At the 2014 NACS show, Red Bull unveiled an expansion of its Editions line with new Orange and Cherry varieties, each of which are zero-calorie formulations. While the new products are worthy of the Red Bull name, it’s tough to get overly excited about this from a category innovation standpoint as they definitely feels more opportunistic in nature.
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.
While the flavor is definitely not so far off from that of GuS' pomegranate variety, this product is certainly a bit more classic in terms of its flavor and positioning. That being said, this is definitely a nice bolt-on product for the brand, and one that fits in with the rest of the flavors in terms of its execution.
The release features bourbons which were all aged in barrels with the same entry proof (105), same stave seasoning, aged in the same warehouse (concrete floor), and same char level (number three). All other variables, recipe (wheat or rye), grain size, and tree cut (top or bottom of the tree) vary.