Review: Chirp Sparkling Energy Water
Covers Products: Blackberry, Golden Mango, Pink Grapefruit, Watermelon
Chirp is a line of zero calorie sparkling water drinks that are enhanced with L-theanine and 50 mg of caffeine from white tea. The product, which was announced in April, is available at Target.
The lineup includes five flavors: Blackberry, Golden Mango, Pink Grapefruit, Black Cherry (which we did not sample) and Watermelon, all of which use natural flavors and have no sweetener added.
The resulting flavor profiles are on par with other fruit flavored sparkling waters. Though they are clearly from flavoring, thankfully all varieties taste pretty accurate, although the watermelon flavoring tasted a bit too much like candy. Still, these are fine tasting sparkling waters that can hold their own against any of the mainstream brands. Lastly, we were happy to see that the added functional ingredients had no negative impact on the flavor.
Speaking of functional ingredients, we like the approach that Chirp has taken. There are a growing number of caffeine enhanced sparkling water products, but this is the first we’ve seen to market caffeine from white tea. Given that white tea has a reasonable amount of awareness as a healthy product, we think that this, along with the added L-theanine, gives Chirp a nice benefit in terms of marketability. Plus, 50 grams of caffeine seems like a good amount that puts the product in between a cola and an energy drink.
Moving on to the branding and packaging, Chirp uses a shrink sleeve label that features a different background color for each SKU. The core design element on each label is an illustration of a bird sitting above fruit specific to each flavor. The Chirp logo is below, presented as “CHIRP” drawn in white outline letters that feature open ends. The rest of the label copy, aside from “Naturally Flavored” at the top, is in black text.
While we like the overall aesthetic, which we’d describe as playful and approachable, we think Chrip needs to make its logo stand out more, which ishard to read on the Golden Mango SKU and should be, we think, more dominant than at present. Changing the color and/or increasing the weight of the outlines are the two most obvious approaches.
Beyond this fix, the only other thing we’d like to see is a tweak to the watermelon flavor. The brand -- having mainstream flavor, a boost of caffeine as its key point of differentiation, and fun and appealing packaging -- otherwise feels like it’s in a good spot.