Review: Sap! Maple Beverages
Covers Products: Maple Seltzer, Maple Soda
Sap! is a two SKU line of beverages that are made with a single ingredient: carbonated maple sap. It’s a play that’s not dissimilar from that of maple water, which is also maple sap but in its natural, non-carbonated format.
The two offerings, Maple Soda and Maple Seltzer, might, at least on paper, sound like the brand is playing in two distinct categories. But the differences between the two are pretty minimal when you taste it and look at the nutrition panel. The soda has 90 calories and 16g of sugars per can, while the seltzer has 50 calories and 9g of sugars per can. In essence, there is a sweet and slightly less sweet offering that are both closer to soda than they are seltzer or flavored water. Regardless, we enjoyed both of them, especially in comparison to the handful of other carbonated maple water products that we’ve tried to date.
The packaging, which is actually a refresh of the company’s first effort, is clean and attractive. The branding makes a clear differentiation from all of the maple water products out there, although we do wonder if consumers will look at this product with the same enthusiasm as they are starting to look at maple water. However, the minimalist design is aesthetically pleasing to the point where it definitely catches the eye.
From a brand architecture standpoint, however, we wonder if the baggage that comes with “soda” and “seltzer” is worth it. Instead, positioning the product as “sparkling” (perhaps “sparkling maple water”) seems like it would make for a healthier and more on trend brand. From there, we’d consider having “original” and “less sweet” (which we’d love to see at 25 calories) offerings.
Overall, Sap! has done a nice job creating something that looks nice and tastes great, but we feel as though they could take it even further with some additional refinement.