Last Updated: 2/12/2013 10:36 AM
While there are three flavors of Perk!, you can really get the gist of this product by trying one of the flavors. All three are, for better or worse, largely the same in terms of flavor and packaging. And it’s the vanilla flavor that is the best of the bunch, with a flavor that’s slightly more tolerable than the mocha or caramel flavored offerings. So, what does it taste like? Well, Perk! is a zero calorie carbonated coffee drink that, in the case of this particular variety, is flavored with vanilla. The flavor is decent, but not great, with a so-so coffee flavor that gives way to vanilla flavoring and a an artificial sweetener finish that lingers. We think that all three of these flavor aspects could be improved upon. The other flavors seem to need even more help. Functionally, the product is billed as having 150mg of caffeine per 16oz bottle. That’s roughly the same as a standard 16oz energy drink. On that front, it certainly seems like they have something marketable. Visually, we have a couple of issues with the product. For starters, the name “Perk!” lacks appeal, at least in its current visual treatment with the “re-JAVA-nate” tagline. Furthermore, the visual differences between the three flavors are way too subtle. Plus, the product feels sterile and lacking in the personality department. Some of this could be from the choice of package format (a can might be better), but the front panel feels very stark. Last, and perhaps most important, is the concept of sparkling coffee. It’s a concept that has been tried, but market demand just isn’t there. Whether it’s the bubbles or the lack of dairy is hard to say, but coffee as a soda is definitely a very niche product. Overall, this might be a marketable concept in some capacity, but this product definitely needs further development.