Review: Proper Soda Hibiscus Soda

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.

Review: Purps

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.

Review: Pickle Juice Sport Shot

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.

Review: East Imperial Mixers

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.

Review: Whynatte Naturally Sweetened

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.

Review: Sprizz-O

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.

Review: KeVita Master Brew Kombucha

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.

Review: Alley Cat Fruit Tea

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.

Review: Bruce 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.

Review: Chuice

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.

Review: GuS Dry Blackberry

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.