Posted: Apr 03, 2013 at 12:00 AM
(Last Updated: May 30, 2013 at 10:30 AM)
Alley Oop is a citrus-flavored sports drink that is sweetened with sugar, corn syrup, sucralose and stevia. The product, which has 40 calories per 16 oz. bottle, definitely tastes like something that is made with zero calorie sweeteners. Otherwise, it has a decent orange flavor to it. That being said, we don’t think it tastes as good other traditional sports drinks. There’s a bit too much sweetener flavor, and the taste profile of the orange flavoring is just too strong for something that is billed as a sports drink. Honestly, we’re somewhat perplexed by what the company is trying to create here. The product is labeled with the phrases “healthy + fun” and “no artificial flavors.” Yes, it’s enhanced with vitamins (B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D) and electrolytes, but it's also sweetened with sucralose (an artificial sweetener). There are certainly plenty of other, better tasting and more nutrient rich ways to get electrolytes and vitamins. As for it being “fun,” we are again at a loss. The product has images of what are now cliche “extreme sports” (skateboarding and BMX) that have been used on countless other sports and energy drinks. We’re not saying this to knock the product, but Alley Oop needs to consider that what it is attempting to create as points of differentiation really aren’t all that different. Furthermore, improving the flavor is a must -- it’s just not there yet. And we’re not sure why the company would use stevia (a “natural” zero calorie sweetener) and then cut it with an artificial one. Surely, there must be a more cost-effective approach. Overall, Alley Oop will need to rethink its positioning in order to succeed.