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Last Updated: 6/16/2013 10:43 AM
So what is Kwass’up? It’s a drink inspired by kvass, a fermented beverage that is made from rye bread and commonly consumed in Russia. In the case of Kwass’up and its three flavors, the company has created a non-alcoholic version that is made with “kvass wort concentrate.” Each of the three flavors has a very strong malt flavor, with a moderate amount of sweetness (20g of sugar per 8 oz. serving) and carbonation. It’s a pretty potent flavor, which ultimately makes the differences between the varieties very subtle. That said, we picked this variety as our favorite of the bunch as the added ginger flavor helps complement and ultimately cut the malt flavor. The biggest issue we have with this product is the lack of differentiation between the three varieties. Given that Kwass'up is likely either a niche or ethnic brand, we’d honestly rather see them just hone in on one flavor. Visually, we’re a bit confused by what the company has created. The name, Kwass’up, has a blue “K,” which we can only assume is to make the name read “wassup.” Despite the fact that this would be kitschy and dated, it seems completely out of place with the rest of the brand and the type of product. Really, Kwass'up's biggest issue -- at least outside of stores that exclusively cater to Russian consumers -- will be education around kvass (What is it? Why do you need it?). Adapting the brand to address these issues and bolster the product’s authenticity would be much more useful. Overall, there might be something here, but there’s some flavor and messaging work left to be done.
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