Posted: Mar 25, 2014 at 11:06 AM
(Last Updated: Jun 27, 2014 at 11:08 AM)
The concept behind Caffeinated Club is simple and straightforward: mix flavored club soda with a mild amount of caffeine (34 mg). The result is something that’s pleasant tasting and familiar (we’d say the same about the other two flavors as well), with caffeine content that’s in the same realm as a can of Coke. To that end, it’s certainly a decent option and one that we’re sure will be pleasing to many consumers. However, it’s the branding and messaging of the product that leave something to be desired. For starters, the design of the product looks dated and is hard on the eyes. “Caffeinated” and “Club” aren’t visually connected, while the use of stock fonts and simplistic shapes looks amateurish rather than minimalistic. As a result, this feels like a value product. Beyond that, we also have concerns that this has been tried before (see the old Hiball products) and that the water category, which is certainly where this product will be placed, is too tough for a product like this. Ultimately, if we were in Caffeinated Club’s shoes, we’d consider upping the caffeine content to be closer to an energy drink and trying to improve the branding (either to make it look sophisticated or retro). Overall, the concept of creating a sweetener-free caffeinated sparkling beverage isn’t a bad one, but this product needs to improve greatly if it’s going to be a serious player.