At the 2014 NACS show, Red Bull unveiled an expansion of its Editions line with new Orange and Cherry varieties, each of which are zero-calorie formulations. While the new products are worthy of the Red Bull name, it’s tough to get overly excited about this from a category innovation standpoint as they definitely feels more opportunistic in nature.
Unoco’s Raw Coconut Water is a high pressure processed, “raw” coconut water that comes in a single flavor. The liquid is intentionally pink; when exposed to light, the high phenol content in the coconut water gives it the color. It's certainly one way to separate the brand from competing versions, and Unoco has taken a step further with a highly differentiated label.
We’ve seen a variety of pickle juice products come to market, but none have made it past the initial buzz to become anything more than a novelty product. While there’s obviously a big taste hurdle to overcome for a product like pickle juice, looking at Stu’s Sour Elixir makes us wonder if its predecessors' biggest mistake was in how they branded and positioned their product.
Extending its presence in the probiotic drink space, KeVita recently launched a new line of "Cleansing Probiotic Tonics." Made with a base blend of the company's effervescent probiotic base and apple cider vinegar, the line comes in four varieties: Kale Lemon, Red Beet, Turmeric Ginger and Cinnamon.
While we’ve seen many beverage brands go for a minimalist approach, Outpost Cold Brew somehow has managed to take things to a new level. On the 12 oz. long-neck amber bottle, the company places a stark white label, which has a lot of white space and minimal copy... and it works.
In addition to a range of pre-packaged meals and snacks, "raw" food company The Squeeze produces a line of cold-pressed juices and smoothies that are not pasteurized, nor high pressure processed. The company definitely has a knack for crafting unique flavor varieties (and names), including its Cold Brew Squeezuccino and PB & J.
Blending lemon flavor with Aloe Gloe’s base liquid (a blend of water and aloe vera powder) makes for something that’s pleasing to the palate. And in our opinion, this is far and away the best tasting variety in the Aloe Gloe line.
With seven varieties in the Bai5 Bubbles lineup, we had a hard time figuring out which ones to focus in on. While some are better than others, none of them disappoint, especially against other zero- or similarly low-calorie products.
Now in its second rendition, the premise of Dust Cutter is slightly revised. This time around, you’ll still find a mainstream-oriented, sugar-sweetened (with a touch of stevia) beverage at the product’s core, but the added ginseng and B vitamins have been removed. This leaves the product focused exclusively on refreshment, which is certainly what it does best.
Ito En’s Matcha Love platform includes cafes, powdered products and a two-SKU line of ready-to drink beverages. Coming in Unsweetened and Sweetened varieties, the drinks are made with a blend of green tea and matcha (a powdered whole leaf green tea), and packaged in a small 5.2 oz. can that is both simple and approachable.
TreTap’s sparkling line is one of the more interesting uses of maple water that we’ve seen to date. The base of this product is maple water that has been carbonated, and the resulting liquid enhanced with sugar, maple syrup, cucumber flavor, citric acid, and monk fruit (a zero-calorie sweetener).
In both formulation and design, TK Hibiscus has taken a minimalist approach to its line of organic, hibiscus teas. TK's label and liquid are both polished and well-conceived, something gives the brand a solid foundation as it looks to grow its retail and distribution footprint.
Based in Los Angeles, Better Booch produces a line of kombucha drinks that are made with organic ingredients. Available in six varieties, we sampled three and were impressed by each for their mainstream-oriented formulation and flavors.
Based in Southhampton, N.Y, Captains Neck & Co. markets a line of craft sodas that are formulated with natural ingredients and sweetened with sugar and stevia. The drinks come in two varieties: Citrus Mint and Grape & Ginger, each containing 40 calories per 12 oz. bottle. Though demand for premium soda options appears to be on the rise, Captain's Neck might require a few packaging updates to gain wider appeal.