Marketed as “coconut smoothies for the brain & body,” Genius Juice produces a six-SKU line of blends that use coconut milk (or, in the case of the flagship variety, coconut meat) as the primary ingredient. The products are made with organic and non-GMO ingredients, and the drinks are high pressure processed.
pHenOH (pronounced “fee-no”) is a 7.4 pH sports drink that is designed to be a non-acidic alternative to mainstream isotonic beverages. It’s USDA Organic certified and is also sweetened with agave and flavored with aloe vera.
Formerly known as Dr. B’s Tea, Doc’s Tea is a line of rooibos tea drinks that uses monk fruit as the primary sweetener. In addition to the rebrand, the company removed xylitol from the drinks and replaced it with cane sugar. The new formulation, is for the most part, good especially considering that it has only 10 calories per 12 oz. bottle. On the branding side of things, however, calling it “Doc’s Tea” seems like a questionable move.
While chocolate-flavored coconut water is certainly not a new thing, Harmless Harvest’s approach brings an innovative twist to the concept. The product, which, like Harmless Harvest’s flagship coconut water is high pressure processed and promoted as “raw,” contains only two ingredients: organic coconut water and organic cacao extract.
Made with fruits, roots and vegetables are sourced from organic farmers along the West Coast, Purity Organic’s new “Superjuices” are pasteurized, shelf-stable juices that are formulated with ingredients often seen in cold-pressed, HPP varieties.
Making its debut at the recently held 2014 Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City, Mamma Chia Vitality + Energy is an extension of the company’s popular line of chia drinks. As with its flagship line, the organic beverages are made with hydrated chia seeds and fruit juice. Added to the mix are 90 mg of caffeine sourced from guayusa and cane sugar, with the blend packaged in a slim 10 oz. glass bottle. So how did it all turn out?
Once anointed as the next coconut water, enthusiasm for aloe vera drinks appears to be somewhat tempered these days. Nevertheless, there remains a steady trickle of new entrants to the category, including Aloe Very, a new three-SKU line of USDA certified organic blends.
Deluxe Honeydrop has launched a two-SKU line of raw honey drinks that are packaged in 10 oz. plastic bottles and high pressure processed. The new Raw Local Honey and Raw Manuka Honey products are quite tasty, but from our perspective, their labels feel a bit disconnected from the brand. (Editor’s note: An earlier version on this review stated that Honeydrop has discontinued its juice and tea line. That is not correct. The products are still part of the company’s portfolio. We regret the error.)
Like its previous incarnation as Harmless Harvest 100% Raw Tea, Namacha is a line of high pressure processed and USDA Organic certified blend of water and tea leaves that are flash-frozen, pulverized and steeped cold. Available in three varieties — unsweetened, honey & lemon, and peppermint — the product is still packaged in a 10 oz. bottle, but is the updated branding a step forward for the line?
Made with 100 percent muscadine grape juice from concentrate, Carolina Wild is essentially what you’d expect from a super premium single varietal grape juice: tart, slightly tannic, and moderately sweet. It’s an impressive flavor that will definitely transform what you think about bottled grape juice.
Labeled as a dietary supplement, Naturnique Energizing Tea is promoted with the tagline, “Finally…Great Tasting Energy!” As for what’s inside the bottle, it’s basically a sugar-sweetened white tea product that’s enhanced with caffeine (from green tea extract), ginseng, and vitamins.
Evolution Fresh recently added two new products to its already extensive portfolio of juices and smoothies. Organic Avocado Greens Organic Splendid Carrot each launched as exclusives at Whole Foods and both products feature the brand’s refreshed label design. Blended with on-trend ingredients such as chia, coconut water and turmeric, Evolution’s desire to innovate definitely shines through.
Named for a geographically defined area where tea plants are most commonly grown, Zone 8 is promoted as a line of “great tasting, culturally relevant teas and juice blends that redefine what natural means.” The beverages are quite tasty, but we feel as though the branding and positioning are slightly out of sync with what’s inside the bottle.
Bolthouse Farms Kids Smoothies are the company’s newest addition to its portfolio of beverages premium juices and smoothies. Made with an all-natural formulation including fruit purees and juices from concentrate and no added preservatives, the company promotes the drinks as being “designed for maximum kid craveability.” In a crowded category, however, the line is not one that’s overly innovative or unique.