Last Updated: 10/6/2013 4:28 PM
Vita ICE is a 17 oz. zero-calorie sparkling beverage that comes in a variety of fruit flavors. Sound familiar? It’s a clear play on Sparkling ICE in terms of branding, flavor and formulation. Not that there’s anything wrong with (at least in theory) emulating a larger, more successful brand. In terms of flavor, this product has definitely succeeded in creating something that’s pleasing to the palate -- at least when compared against similar zero-calorie beverages. The pink grapefruit flavor is pretty sweet, skewing more towards a CSD than it probably should, but it does a nice job of delivering a somewhat natural tasting grapefruit flavor. However, the packaging and branding is really where this product falls apart. For starters, there’s the obvious, which is the prominent use of the word “ICE.” This basically sacrifices the ability for this brand to, well, become a brand. Instead it reinforces and strengthens the Sparkling ICE brand as the “original” in the category. Furthermore, the bottle shape, which literally looks like a soda bottle, and the flimsy label don’t do the product any visual favors. If Vita ICE is to be anything more than an opportunistic blip in the beverage category, it should refocus its branding on building its own identity. As it stands right now, this is, at best, a deep value product -- and that’s a slippery slope in a category where the price point is often under $1.