Review: Caribé Juices
Covers Products: Acerola Berry, Guava, Passion Fruit, Starfruit Limeade
Caribé is a line of cold-pressed and high pressure processed juices that utilizes fruit grown in the Dominican Republic.
When we first met Caribé juices back in 2015, the company was focused on positioning their products as “Exotic” juices. While this copy still remains, it’s much smaller, and flavor profiles have evolved and been repositioned. The brand now consists of four flavors. Two of them, Passion Fruit and Guava, feature higher juice content, and are sweetened with raw cane juice, while the other two, Starfruit Limeade and Acerola Berry, are positioned as lower calorie offerings (15 and 25 calories, respectively) and utilize a blend of erythritol, stevia, and monk fruit.
There are a couple of issues with the approach that they’ve taken. First and foremost, positioning these products, which contain both added water and sweeteners, as cold-pressed juices seems at odds with how others are using the term. These seem more like some sort of “refresher” or “cooler” as opposed to a full fledged juice. That’s especially true of the lower-calorie varieties, which, at 19 percent juice for the Starfruit Limeade and 40 percent juice for the Acerola Berry, are quite light.
As for the flavors that they’ve created, we are most fond of the Guava, which has a sweet tropical flavor and a light grit to the body. However, it’s pretty comparable in taste to some of the better pasteurized guava nectar drinks out there. Our second favorite flavor is the Acerola Berry, which has a pleasant and thirst quenching taste that reflects its name. One advantage for Acerola Berry is that, unlike the Starfruit Limeade, you can’t taste too much of the sweetener. Starfruit Limeade, along with Passion Fruit, needs some improvement in terms of formulation.
The final aspect of this product is the packaging and branding. Aside from what we previously mentioned about its positioning as a cold-pressed juice, we found the visual differentiation between the full calorie SKUs (labeled “Caña”) and the low calorie SKUs (labeled with the caloric content of the specific flavor) to be confusing and, thanks to the choice of typography, easy to miss.
From our perspective, the biggest thing that Caribé needs to do is figure out what to call these products -- it’s definitely not cold-pressed juice. Whatever it is should appear with the flavor name or logo in a clear and intuitive way. When it comes to the liquid, we think they should pick a direction of low calorie or full calorie, at least initially. It seems hard to be an upstart brand that’s going to be good at delivering both within the same product line. While it might seem like the current path will have a broader appeal because it reaches for two types of consumers, it comes at the risk of having reduced overall brand impact.
Overall, there’s some good stuff here, but Caribé is still very much a work in progress.