by TBE Beverages

Review: BrightFox

Posted: Feb 12, 2020 at 12:25 PM (Last Updated: Feb 18, 2020 at 11:28 AM)

Covers Products: SPARKLING Blueberry + Vanilla, SPARKLING Cucumber + Mint, SPARKLING Grapefruit + Ginger, STILL Blueberry + Vanilla, STILL Cucumber + Mint, STILL Grapefruit + Ginger

BrightFox is a unique beverage concept that describes itself as a “nightlife hydration beverage for a brighter tomorrow.” The product blends vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and antioxidants into six-SKU line of zero-calorie beverages packaged in 10.1 oz aluminum bottles with either a black or white matte finish.

The six flavors are divided into still and sparkling formulations, with the still in white bottles and the sparkling in black. Both versions feature the same three flavors: Grapefruit + Ginger, Cucumber + Mint and Blueberry + Vanilla. 

From our perspective, presenting consumers with that choice seems unnecessary for a nascent functional beverage concept from a startup company, particularly when both styles taste somewhat similar; they are light, tart and have fruit flavors that lack sweetness (there’s no added sweetener in these drinks).

In addition to the use occasion that is stated on the bottle (the aforementioned “nightlife hydration beverage for a brighter tomorrow”), the brand’s website lists of a variety of other suggested uses, including as a mixer, after a workout, at the beach, in the morning and as an alcohol alternative. To us, this is another sign that the brand needs to focus.

When it comes to taste, these products have nuanced differences. They don’t have any sweetener, so they taste somewhat like flavored water or flavored sparkling water but with some notes from the functional ingredients contained in the drink. However, the carbonation helps enhance the flavor; as a result, we think that this approach will be more marketable than the still offerings. Regardless, all of these products taste very much like functional beverages and there is room for improvement.

Packaging is, at least in terms of pure aesthetics, one of BrightFox’s stronger assets. The black bottle in particular very much looks the part of a functional beverage, with the matte black finish and minimalist design of the front panel giving it a very sharp and chic vibe. 

Unfortunately, the white bottle doesn’t quite have that same appeal, as the matte white background lacks the contrast to the text as the black bottle. 

However, both package designs made us feel as though BrightFox chose form over function. The text is small, the visual cues to differentiate the flavors (which is simply the change in accent color) aren’t memorable and there are just too many SKUs to the point where consumers may have choice paralysis if presented with all six. 

Putting all of this together, we feel that BrightFox needs to focus a bit more. This starts with deciding what the brand really needs to be. Does it need to have still and sparkling flavors? How many flavors do they need to offer? And what’s the most likely use occasion that will drive volume? 

In the end, BrightFox is an interesting concept with unique and slick packaging. However, in its current form, we think there’s a risk of confusion with too many similar offerings. We think the brand has a viable path in a couple of directions -- committing to still or carbonated, or mixing the two, for example -- but the offering needs to be simplified until it builds a bit of a base.

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