Nutrient Enhanced Water: Whole Foods' Ugly Duckling

Recently, Whole Foods has been pushing its own private label beverage brand named “Nutrient Enhanced Water.” Likley, they are doing this because Glaceau Vitaminwater’s days in Whole Foods are numbered. Whole Foods doesn’t deal with Coca-Cola…so now that Glaceau is part of the portfolio, perhaps they are soon to get the boot? They’re pushing this stuff too hard to believe that there isn’t something more to it…end caps…coolers…99 cent promos.

Anyway, we don’t do official reviews of private label products, but, as with previous blog entries, we’ll use this forum as a place to give it a critique:

  • It’s ugly. Really really ugly. The label has no personality whatsoever….but they do, in vitaminwater style, use lowercase letters for some, but not all, of the text on the label. And what are those three circles? They look like Mickey Mouse ears.
  • The taste is actually not bad. Most of the flavors drink like something we’d expect from Honest Tea’s Honest Ade line.
  • Then again, there are way too many flavors…I opened a nice cherry flavored one in the store, but couldnt find any more bottles of it among all the other red colored ones. There’s even a tea flavored one.
  • Ingredients…This is Whole Foods, so it’s reasonably clean. Unlike vitaminwater, the flavors include real juice, which is definitely a plus.
  • Nutrition panel…140-160 calories per bottle?? Surprising. It has the kitchen sink when it comes to vitamins, but aside from > 200% RDA of Vitamin C, there’s nothing really of note.

In summary, Whole Foods’ Nutrient Enhanced Water has really good taste (you should definitely keep your copacker), but horribly unattractive packaging (a new designer would be a good idea) AND a calorie count that might make your head turn.

But at 99 cents, it’s worth a shot, especially if Whole Foods’ prices have already depleted your budget. I suspect that some new packaging — and some lower calorie flavors — might make this brand have a shot once the 99 cent special goes away.