Reviews

Review: Blue Bottle New Orleans Iced Coffee

With about a dozen company-owned retail outlets and a popular retail and wholesale coffee bean business, Blue Bottle Coffee is a name that is well known in the high end coffee circuit. With the cold-brew coffee category heating up, it’s no surprise that Blue Bottle is throwing its hat in the ring with this product, a New Orleans Iced Coffee.

Review: EnerBee

EnerBee Organic Energy, which promotes itself as being made with organic honey, comes in a single variety: Lemon Green Tea. While we do think the company has successfully communicated that the product is a honey-based energy drink, the packaging feels a bit too aggressive and dark to be credible as a “better-for-you” offering.

Review: Zola Coconut Water Lemonade

Zola’s riff on a lemonade/coconut water product comes in the form of this product, a one liter Tetra Pak carton that is labeled as being 100 percent juice. The ingredients are, like the rest of Zola’s Tetra line, from concentrate, but that definitely doesn’t impede the company’s ability to craft a great tasting and thirst-quenching product.

Review: Juisi

Offering a slightly different take on cold-pressed, HPP juices, Juisi markets itself as a company that “creates beverages that draw inspiration from specific regions, cultures, and history.” In our review of the brand’s Kale Punch, Pineapple Jamu, and Cucumber Chia blends, we were pleased with the formulation of the products, yet we’d like to see more organic ingredients in the mix (the blends are not 100 percent organic). On the packaging front, there’s definitely some room for improvement.

Review: Runa Clean Energy (New Packaging, Formulation)

Runa has revamped the look of its Clean Energy line — and it’s a good step forward for the brand. The new design, which includes an image of a guayusa leaf front and center, more visually related to the core brand, while also being much more visually appealing. While we have some issues with the reformulation of the original variety of Clean Energy, we feel that, overall, Runa is moving in the right direction.

Review: Trader Joe’s Cold-Pressed Juices

Hopping on the runaway train that is the cold-pressed juice category, specialty grocer Trader Joe’s has introduced a new three-SKU line of high pressure processed juices. Coming in three color-named varieties — Red, Green and Yellow — the products are quite tasty and include a pretty innovative formulation in the Yellow flavor. The packaging is also praiseworthy, and with as hot a category as cold-pressed juice and devoted a following as that of Trader Joe’s, the new line could be a big success.

Review: Honest Tea Summer Refreshers

Last month, Honest Tea debuted its “Summer Refreshers” line, a five-SKU mix of juice-based drinks that are USDA Organic and use Fair Trade sugar as a sweetener. Packaged in 32 oz. glass bottles, the company has done a really nice job with the formulation and branding of the products, which look more mature and polished than some of the larger format products that it competes with.

Review: Lumen Water

Lumen Water is an ultra-premium bottled water that touts itself as one of the purest and softest tasting waters on the market. The product, which currently comes packaged in a 500 mL plastic bottle with a chrome top, definitely presents itself well. As a luxury water brand, however, it feels like this product would be better off in glass…

Review: Better Sweet Maple Water

Better Sweet is a USDA Organic maple water beverage that is made from a single ingredient: maple sap from Vermont maple trees. The overall approach to the design is polished and approachable, starting with its soft blue color palette. However, having the word “sweet” in the name implied that the product would be something a bit stronger.

Review: Caffeinated Club

The concept behind Caffeinated Club is simple and straightforward: mix flavored club soda with a mild amount of caffeine. The result is something that’s pleasant tasting and familiar. However, it’s the branding and messaging of the product that leave something to be desired.

Review: Go N’ Syde

Plenty of buzz in the last couple weeks about Go N’Syde beverages, a new line of drinks with debut varieties designed in partnership with singer Mariah Carey and hip-hop artist Jay Z. Marketed as first of its kind products, the drinks are promoted to offer consumers an augmented reality experience that delivers exclusive content via a mobile app. Confused? So are we.

Review: Mamma Chia – New Varieties, Label Refresh

Looking to maintain its position as the top-selling brand of chia drinks, Mamma Chia has added two new varieties to its lineup introduced a label refresh. With the new Strawberry Lemonade and Pineapple Coconut products, the company has done well to elevate and improve upon popular and well-known flavors. As for its updated label, Mamma Chia was able to make it seem fresh but still maintain the brand equity that the company has developed.

Review: Clover Juice

Self-described as “Los Angeles’s First ‘Perfectly Pure’ Cold-Pressed Juice Bar,” Clover Juice produces a line of raw (non-pasteurized and non-HPP) juices that it sells in two retail storefronts in downtown L.A. The juices are quite enjoyable and feature some quite blends, yet Clover will need to do some work to build a brand that can evolve beyond company-owned stores.

Review: Vital Juice Kids

Nearly a year after the brand’s debut on the market, Vital Juice has introduced a kids’ line. Featuring four varieties, each made with cold pressed fruits, vegetables and almond milk, the drinks are well formulated and come with playful labels that should appeal to young consumers. One significant issue for us: the lack of a strong call-out indicating that the product contains nuts.