Reviews

Review: Pok Pok Som

Pok Pok Som is a drinking vinegar concentrate that was developed by the folks behind the critically acclaimed Pok Pok restaurant in Portland, Ore. Available in nine varieties, we chose to focus on the brand's Celery flavor, which, like all products in the line, is packaged in 16 oz. apothecary-style glass bottle with a label that feels both artisanal and hip.

Review: Powered ON

The label update for Powered ON (which debuted as ON Beverages) looks cleaner than its initial effort. However, we feel as though it still looks a bit too technical to the point where it doesn’t appeal to one’s senses as well as it could.

Review: Vermont Tapped

Vermont Tapped, which is a product from the same company that produces the TreTap line of beverages, is an “enhanced” maple water beverage. The enhancement is maple syrup, which has been combined with maple water, maple flavor, citric acid and carbon dioxide to create a zero-calorie product that drinks like a flavored seltzer.

Review: Sprizz-O

Sprizz-O is a new brand of juice and seltzer water blends that comes in six varieties. Packaged in 12 oz. long-neck bottles, each beverage is also sweetened with can sugar and contains 50 calories. We've seen similar concepts come and go, but we think Sprizz-O is off to a good start.

Review: KeVita Master Brew Kombucha

Earlier this year, KeVita splashed into the kombucha category with the launch of its Master Brew Kombucha, a brand extension that is formulated with the company's proprietary probiotic culture and sweetened with a blend of evaporated cane sugar and stevia. While we enjoyed the taste of the varieties that we sampled, it's the packaging where we feel KeVita has put its best foot forward.

Review: Alley Cat Fruit Tea

Alley Cat is a Tennessee-style “fruit tea” that contains 48 percent juice, including orange juice, pineapple juice and lemon juice (all from concentrate). For us, the formulation feels much more like a juice cocktail than anything that resembles tea.

Review: TumericALIVE Super Blends

TumericALIVE has extended its line of turmeric-infused beverages with a trio of "Super Blends." The high pressure processed elixirs include three distinct varieties, including a cold-brew coffee product, a matcha drink and a chocolate-infused beverage. Without a doubt, the company has done exceedingly well with the formulations.

Review: Yuvia Coconut Water

Yuvia Pure is a not from concentrate coconut water that is made with young coconuts from Brazil. The product, which claims to not add any sugar, has a slightly sweeter and less salty flavor than what we’ve seen in other brands. However, we can’t say that product this is preferable to those that add sugar.

Review: Proper Soda Hibiscus Soda

Proper Soda Co.’s Hibiscus Soda is the followup flavor to its flagship Hop Soda. Unlike Hop Soda, which was essentially introducing a flavor that is rarely seen in non-alcoholic beverages, this variety is a bit more familiar. It uses a rather simple formulation of carbonated water, sugar, citric acid, hibiscus extract, grape extract (for coloring) and natural flavors.

Review: Purps

From our perspective, Purps approach, which is to play in variety of beverage categories with a specific functionality for each product, is way too wide to be successful. Nailing one product type in one segment -- perhaps with a few SKUs -- seems like a much better approach.

Review: Pickle Juice Sport Shot

Pickle Juice Shot is a 2.5 oz. product that was designed to help alleviate cramping during exercise. This functionality comes from a blend of vinegar, salt, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin E. The pickle flavor comes from dill flavoring and appears no bearing on whether this product works or not; it appears to be a marketing ploy (or perhaps placebo) more than something that actually needs to be there.

Review: East Imperial Mixers

East Imperial is a New Zealand-based beverage company that produces a line of high-end tonic and mixers. Packaged in 5 oz. glass bottles with an old world look and textured label, we think that the high end vibe that will certainly work well on-premise.