(Last Updated: Jul 01, 2014 at 9:37 AM)
Better Sweet is a USDA Organic maple water beverage that is made from a single ingredient: maple sap from Vermont maple trees. While this is still a very new concept, being a single ingredient product appears to be the norm and Better Sweet’s version of it is certainly pleasing to the palate. It definitely has a flavor that’s not that far off from water. There is a very light maple flavor, but at 9g of sugar and 35 calories per 11.2 oz. container, it’s obviously very much in the background. All in all, Better Sweet’s Maple Water is definitely an enjoyable and thirst-quenching, low-calorie beverage that’s on par with the competition. Packaging and branding are this product’s chance to differentiate. The company has chosen an 11.2 oz. Tetra Pak carton with a Dreamcap, which is definitely a very functional format. 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. Maybe that’s something that will subside as people become familiar with the product, but we do feel that the package should say something about the product’s purpose. In its current form, the product does a great job of conveying that it's a single ingredient beverage that comes from nature, but it’s not clear why you should drink this product. Is it for taste? Low calories? In any event, these are definitely things that the marketer of this product -- and the marketers of other maple waters -- need to think about if this is to become a lasting beverage category. In the meantime, Better Sweet is certainly a very nicely executed offering in this fledgling category.