Marketed as a “pure maple water,” Drink Maple is made with a single ingredient: maple sap. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when you hear maple sap is maple syrup. Yet when it comes to flavor, this product is a distant cousin from the stuff that you put on pancakes.
Skinny Lemon Co.’s The Master Cleanse Beverage is a literal translation of… well… a “master cleanse” beverage. That said, it’s made with water, lemon, maple syrup and cayenne. Flavorwise, it’s exactly what you’d expect: slightly sweet, slightly tart and pretty spicy. But can the product hold up against other HPP versions of the products? And what about the approach of having only a single SKU ?
Marketed as a “vitamin enhanced water + electrolytes,” Rage Vitamin Water comes in a single “Hydrating Citrus” flavor. While the ingredients have merit, the company’s reason for inclusion could definitely use a better — and more succinct — explanation than what’s on the back of the bottle. The packaging has a similar issue: it’s just not clear what this product is trying to be.
Formerly known as Kombucha Mama, Humm Kombucha is a pretty unique looking brand, starting with its proprietary 14 oz. glass bottle. It has a whimsical look to it, both in the label design and the shape of the glass bottle. The package is very approachable and polished, and while we think the company needs to make a few changes in the formulation of a few of nine flavor varieties, we’re quite impressed with the brand overall.
Earlier this year, Califia Farms introduced new single-serve varieties to its line of citrus juice products. Packaged in 10.5 oz. fully wrapped bottles, the review team sampled Califia’s Lemonade, Limeade and Tangerine juices (the company also markets an Orange Juice variety) and offered praise for the formulations, but had some concerns about the labels.
A finalist in the recently held New Beverage 7 at BevNET Live Summer ’14, Tigernut Horchata attracted quite a bit of attention for its packaging and formulation. However, Showdown judges questioned the positioning of the product, noting a disconnect between the use of the word horchata in describing a beverage that did not have a rice component. The review team has similar concerns about the branding.
Earlier this year, coconut water company Jax Coco debuted a new line of kids’ drinks, which are packaged 110 mL wedge cartons. The brand is available in five varieties, and we elected to review the banana, chocolate and original flavors, all of which are nicely formulated. While the packaging could definitely use some work, Jax Coco has a good deal of runway with the new products.
o2Living has extended its platform of cold-pressed, high pressure processed juices to include a kids’ line of drinks. The line is comprised of four varieties, each packaged in 8 oz. bottles with striking black labels, a welcome shift from the often clear or white packages that we’ve seen with most similarly-positioned juice brands.
Health-Ade has added two new varieties — Carrot and Beet — to its line of kombucha drinks. The new flavors are certainly some of the more adventurous that we’ve seen hit the category, and while we were a bit apprehensive as to how the two beverages (each sporting the brand’s new label design) might taste, the first sips alleviated any concern.
Based in Boca Raton, Fla., Juicera produces a range of USDA Organic certified and high pressure processed juice blends. The products are packaged in cylindrical bottles with a few of the varieties coming 8 and 16 oz. sizes. Overall, the company has done well to create a tasty and well-executed product, but the labels could use a bit of a revamp.
Positioned as “All Natural Greek Mountain Iced-Teas,” Zoos Greek Iced Tea is a line of herbal tea products that are made from Sideritis (aka ironwort), which is a flowering plant. The drinks are pretty tasty with a mellow flavor that tastes pretty similar to white tea, but with an almost mint-like finish. We do, however, have mixed views regarding the the three varieties — Original, Peach and Lemon.
Vitamin Dose is a line of liquid vitamin supplements that are packaged in 5.07 oz. cans and currently come in four varieties, each sweetened with crystalline fructose and sucralose: B-Carotene, Magnesium, Vitamins and Minerals, and Vitamin C. The products are pleasant tasting and offer sound functional benefits, however, the labeling could be confusing to some consumers.
Rooibee Roo is a new line of rooibos tea drinks that are designed for kids and come in three varieties. Packaged in a small 8 oz. bottle, the product is sweetened with sugar, and contains natural fruit flavoring (mango in this case). Speaking purely from a flavor perspective, it’s certainly a nice tasting mango-flavored tea that feels pretty mainstream in style. However, as a kids product, we think it’s going to be an uphill battle.
Well-known for its low-calorie line of bottled cocktails, Skinnygirl last year introduced a new brand of five-calorie sparkling waters called Skinnygirl Sparklers. Developed in partnership with AriZona Beverages, the products are made with 5 percent juice and sweetened with honey, sugar, Ace-K and sucralose. With clean and minimalist packaging, Skinnygirl has made good use of its brand equity, although it’s certainly hard to say how it will translate to a ready-to-drink non-alcoholic product.