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.
In/Fusion, which markets a line of organic herbal teas, has released two new varieties: “Peach, Verbena, Lemon” uses verbena leaf as its base ingredient, and “Pomegranate, Blackcurrant, and Peppermint” blends blackcurrant leaf and peppermint. While the liquid is great, the name of the varieties and packaging could use some work.
Marketed as the “World’s First Premium Cold Brewed Tea,” Boston-based Evy Tea is a new brand of iced teas that are produced by seeping whole leaf teas in filtered cold water for 16-20 hours. Initially launched in large-format bottles, the company recently released a line of single-serve products that comes in three varieties. The beverages are quite tasty, and while the labels could use a tweak or two, Evy Tea is nevertheless off to a great start.
Greater Than, which markets a line of sports drinks that use coconut water as a base, has gone through a few renditions in the formulation and packaging of its products, and the latest revamp is the brand’s best yet. In addition to mainstream-appealing flavors and calorie counts, the products have migrated to a 16 oz. contour PET bottle, has been given a nice upgrade versus the company’s previous efforts. All in all, it definitely feels like a step forward for the brand
True Organic is a new brand of pasteurized juice smoothies launched by California-based Grimmway Farms. Available in seven varieties, the juices are USDA Certified Organic and feature branding and messaging that is definitely well-designed and thought out. However, the technical execution of the packaging, which uses a full wrap clear label, leaves something to be desired.
Mixing tea and coffee is something that we’ve admittedly never tried (or wanted to try, for that matter). But that’s exactly what Sweet Leaf has done with this new line of beverages, which currently comes in Original and Vanilla varieties.
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.
Vertical Water is one of several products that is part of a new and unique class of beverages: maple water. This particular product is made with maple water (sourced from U.S. maple trees) as its sole ingredient, and, thanks to aseptic packaging, doesn’t incorporate any preservatives. The result is something that should, at least in theory, be pretty close to what you’d get right out of a tree.
Launched by beverage incubator L.A. Libations, Arriba is a new horchata-flavored energy drink that is currently sold exclusively at 7-Eleven stores. Aside from the word “energy” on the can, the formulation having caffeine (76mg), and being packaged in a container that’s often used for energy drinks, this product doesn’t have a whole lot in common with what you typically get from an energy beverage… and yet, the execution of the product is impressive.
Pure Brazilian Coconut Water is a “raw,” high pressure processed (HPP) coconut water that is, as the name implies, produced in Brazil. Aside from “raw,” the key value proposition of what the company is selling is its belief that Brazilian coconuts produce better tasting coconut water than coconuts from other parts of the world.
Launched as an exclusive at Costco, Suja Essentials “Organic 3 Day Fresh Start” is promoted as “a hydration and whole food centered plan created to eliminate anything that doesn’t make you feel your best.” The pack introduces three new juice varieties to Suja’s Essentials line — Green Greatness, Spicy Lemonade and Vanilla Nutz — however, each are only available as part of the “Fresh Start” pack. The products continue upon Suja’s reputation for well-formulated juice blends, and are a nice use of the Essentials branding.
True Solution’s chocolate-flavored nutrition shake is a soy- and dairy-free protein drink made with 17g of protein from pea protein concentrate. It’s very drinkable compared to other pea protein products that we’ve sampled. Yet while the packaging certainly conveys what the product is, the brand feels very underdeveloped.
We’ve been fans of Revive Kombucha since first sampling its products, and the company’s latest effort, “Solar,” is no exception. Made with an organic yerba mate kombucha, cold-pressed ginger and lemon juices, and almond and vanilla extract, it tastes like yerba mate mixed with lemon lime soda and ginger ale — the taste is quite good. However, we’re a little confused by the name “Solar.”