Described as a "hibiscus flower tea," Pure Hibi comes in four varieties, with the flagship formulated organic hibiscus, sugar, ginger, and water. Packaging is a tall 16 oz. glass bottle with a paper label, which is clearly a first effort (and probably hand labeled). That’s a good thing as the label definitely needs some work -- if not a complete redesign.
Infused with 14 nutrients and 6g of fiber, FLUROwater is promoted as "Water + Nutrition." The formulation of the beverages contains no sugar, preservatives, or dyes. While this is all well and good, it’s not clear how this product is better than other products that are fortified with nutrients.
In collaboration with Steuben Foods, Cold Stone Creamery recently launched Milk Shakers, a line of ready-to-drink shakes that come in three decadent varieties. It's clear that the goal of the brand is to translate the decadent flavors of Cold Stone into a convenient on-the-go product. With flavors that reach 450 calories and 15g of fat per bottle, the line is certainly decadent.
Earlier this year, Vita Coco unveiled a new name and packaging for its Coco Cafe line of espresso and coconut water lattes. Visually, the switch to a brand now known as Vita Coco Cafe was something that we were a bit skeptical of. That said, we definitely see this as an upgrade for the drinks.
Promoted as "Premium hydration for a Waterfull Life," Zotiko is an enhanced water/isotonic that is fortified with electrolytes, lightly flavored with cucumber and mint flavorings and sweetened with a touch of sugar and stevia. All in all, we like what's inside the bottle. The outside of the bottle, on the other hand, is a completely different story.
Lumen Water is an ultra-premium bottled water that touts itself as one of the purest and softest tasting waters on the market. The product, which currently comes packaged in a 500 mL plastic bottle with a chrome top, definitely presents itself well. As a luxury water brand, however, it feels like this product would be better off in glass...
Better Sweet is a USDA Organic maple water beverage that is made from a single ingredient: maple sap from Vermont maple trees. The overall approach to the design is polished and approachable, starting with its soft blue color palette. However, having the word “sweet” in the name implied that the product would be something a bit stronger.
Formulated with cold brew coffee and cream sweetened with a blend of stevia and cane sugar, High Brew made its depy at the 2014 Expo West show. The drinks are packaged in 8 oz. slim cans, shelf-stable and come in four varieties — Double Espresso, Mexican Vanilla, Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Mocha High Brew Coffee. From both a flavor and packaging standpoint, the review team enjoyed the coffee, though some refinement could be helpful.
Using Philippine coconut water, the 250 mL glass bottles of Jax Coco are filed in China. It’s a pretty unique product from a packaging perspective -- you really don’t see many products in glass or at this small size. But is the bottle enough to differentiate the brand from other coconut waters?
Marketed as a "Vitality Energy Drink," is a USDA certified organic energy drink that is made with zero calories and no sugar. On the branding end of things, we’re honestly a little confused as to what this product is trying to be. It feels very much like a product that is attempting to go after night clubs, but the messaging, which includes tagline “The Smart Choice,” seems to be more focused on selling a “better for you” product.
Go Body’s Berry Pomegranate, which was the only flavor available at the time of review, is a pleasant tasting sports drink-style protein drink. It packs in 25g of protein with only 8g of sugar and 150 calories per bottle along with a well rounded mix of vitamins, antioxidants, and more. But does the packaging do a good enough job communicating the brand to consumers?
With about a dozen company-owned retail outlets and a popular retail and wholesale coffee bean business, Blue Bottle Coffee is a name that is well known in the high end coffee circuit. With the cold-brew coffee category heating up, it’s no surprise that Blue Bottle is throwing its hat in the ring with this product, a New Orleans Iced Coffee.
EnerBee Organic Energy, which promotes itself as being made with organic honey, comes in a single variety: Lemon Green Tea. While we do think the company has successfully communicated that the product is a honey-based energy drink, the packaging feels a bit too aggressive and dark to be credible as a “better-for-you” offering.
Zola’s riff on a lemonade/coconut water product comes in the form of this product, a one liter Tetra Pak carton that is labeled as being 100 percent juice. The ingredients are, like the rest of Zola’s Tetra line, from concentrate, but that definitely doesn’t impede the company's ability to craft a great tasting and thirst-quenching product.