Earlier this year, Little Miracles, a line of tea-based organic energy drinks that are widely distributed in Europe, made its U.S. debut. Despite being marketed as energy drinks, the products…
Marketed as a brand run by “a couple of guys in Austin brewing tea that is all about Texas,” Texas Tea is a new line of RTD teas that come in eight varieties. Packaged in familiar 16 oz. glass bottles, the teas are have a nice and marketable taste, but we feel as though the brand could use some help in connecting with the consumer (especially ones who don’t have ties to Texas).
Cleveland-based Garden of Flavor produces a line of cold-pressed juices and juice cleanses and recently introduced three new juice varieties that contain added probiotics. While we think the company has done quite well with the formulation of the juices, we do think that the labels could be improved upon as some consumers might be confused as to which varieties contain added probiotics and which do not.
Suja Bliss is the most recent addition to the company’s “Classic” line of high pressure processed juices. This particular blend is a bit of a departure from the other products in the line, starting with the fact that it is made with banana and a slightly thicker body that’s closer in style to a smoothie than a juice.
The premise of Organic Gemini’s Guarana Energy is seemingly straightforward and simple: blend coconut water (from concentrate) with a caffeinated punch of guarana extract. The resulting product has the flavor and hydrating abilities of a traditional coconut water and the caffeine equivalent of a cup of coffee. To that end, this USDA Organic beverage is enjoyable and fills what seems like a logical niche in the coconut water category.
Balance “Cleanse” is a product that takes one of today’s emerging functions — albeit one that is typically synonymous with juice — and applies it to bottled water. To accomplish this, the company has added a variety of extracts that were inspired by Australian “bush medicine,” including papaya, she-oak, bottlebrush and bush iris. None of these ingredients impact the flavor, which is certainly a good thing in terms of the drinking experience.
Wai Koko’s new Coconut Infusions line comes in four varieties with each packaged in an 8.5 oz. slim can. Featuring two citrus-enhanced flavors, Island Citrus and Lemon Lime, as well as its original coconut water and a new mocha-flavored variety, the company has created a sub-line that is polished and attractive.
Love Birch is a new line of organic beverages made with birch tree sap, agave syrup, juice concentrates and other extracts and flavors. We enjoyed the flavor of the two varieties are in this review, however, the biggest challenge for this product is going to be convincing consumers that they want something birch-flavored (that isn’t birch beer).
Gazpacho Alcaraz is a high pressure processed (HPP) beverage that is billed as “the drinkable salad.” It uses a blend of tomatoes, water, cucumbers, green peppers, onion, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic cloves and sea salt. From a flavor perspective, it’s very like a gazpacho, with a tomato heavy flavor that’s absolutely delicious.
UCE Juice Taro Twist is a 45 percent juice-based beverage that is enhanced with caffeine and sweetened with fruit juices and stevia. All in all, it’s a decent tasting juice cocktail product that is probably best described as caffeinated fruit punch. Unfortunately, however, the branding has us somewhat confused as to what this product is and where it fits in the market
Gravity Apple Cider Vinegar Drink is a blend of 30 percent apple juice and two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. The product, which is also sweetened with xylitol and honey and enhanced with vitamins, tastes very much like apple juice. This is a different approach than other apple cider vinegar drinks that we’ve sampled (yes, there are a few out there), which tend to be much more forward in their vinegar flavor.
Happy Tree Maple Water is a high pressure processed (HPP) beverage that, as the name might suggest, is made using water sourced from maple trees. While this is one of several products that are coming to market as part of what appears to be an emerging trend, Happy Tree is definitely the best maple water that we’ve had to date.
The Strawberry Lemonade flavor of A Game is a mainstream-oriented sports drink that features sea salt, honey and B vitamins. From a flavor perspective, it’s not that far off from being a traditional sports drink flavor; it’s almost like a cross between lemon lime and fruit punch flavors.
Amid its sprawling booth at the recently held Natural Products Expo West, Califia Farms sampled new single-serve varieties of its Iced Coffee line. Made with a blend of almond milk and coffee, the line comes in three flavors: Salted Caramel, Cocoa Noir and XX Espresso. From our perspective, Califia has once again proven adept at creating great tasting formulations with reasonable sugar and calorie content.