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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.