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.
Rawpothecary, which produces a line of whole food juice, nut milk and cold-brew coffee blends, markets its products with the tagline “nothing added, nothing wasted” and “the pulp and skins are in.” From our perspective, the company’s range of uniquely-crafted blends and well-designed labels are nicely differentiated from competing products and offer a long runway for success.
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.
Rau is a cold-pressed and raw cacao beverage that is sweetened with monk fruit. From a flavor perspective, this product tastes very much like raw cacao (like what you’d find in a cacao nib). There’s a nice “chocolate” flavor to it, but, like cacao nibs, it does have a bitterness that will take some getting used to.
Introduced at Expo West 2014, Chameleon Cold-Brew’s new line of ready-to-drink coffee drinks is an impressive entry to the category. Packaged in 10 oz. glass bottles, the line comes in three varieties — mocha, vanilla, original black — each made with water, organic & Fair Trade coffee, and in the case of the mocha and vanilla, sugar and flavor. Pairing a simple formulation design with a clean and well-designed label, and overall, we’re big fans of these products.