Review: Clean Cause Yerba Mate

Posted: May 18, 2018 at 1:33 PM (Last Updated: May 18, 2018 at 4:20 PM)

Covers Products: Blackberry, Lemon Lime, Peach, Raspberry

Clean Cause is a pretty unique company that has managed to create a brand that both speaks to the products and the cause behind the company. The company, which you can learn about in our recent story “Mate, Mission Fuels Growth for Clean Cause,” donates 50 percent of their profits to support individuals struggling with addiction to alcohol and drugs. To date, the company has produced energy drink and water products.

Now, Clean Cause is expanding into sparkling yerba mate. The line features four flavors -- Lemon Lime, Peach, Raspberry, and Blackberry -- all of which are USDA Organic certified and contain 30 calories per serving (60 per can) thanks to the use of erythritol and stevia. The products are packaged in a 16 oz. can, which, at least at the time of review, features a shrink sleeve label.

As far as the flavors are concerned, they’ve done a pretty nice job. They are light and effervescent, and there’s no mistaking the flavor of this product for anything but a flavored yerba mate (although it’s not super strong). Using a blend of sugar, erythritol, and stevia, they’ve achieved a nice balance of natural sweetness and low calories -- without having a lingering aftertaste.

To our palates, some of their fruit flavors were better than others. Lemon Lime was far and away the winner for us, with the addition of citrus flavors really providing a nice complement to the yerba mate and helping the product get a crisp finish. After that, we found the Raspberry and Blackberry flavors to be quite nice, especially in terms of the accuracy of the fruit flavors that they’ve incorporated. Finally, there’s Peach, which feels like it needs a bit less peach flavor. But we do really like the idea of a peach flavored offering.

The design of the product is all about “CLEAN,” which is featured in large letters placed vertically on the label. We think that this will catch the eye -- and we like how they’ve placed “cause” below it -- but we have a few questions about the label. First, we think it’s somewhat hard to figure out what the product is. They’ve left off the word “sparkling,” which is a pretty critical attribute. And there’s something about the design and its vibrant color scheme that undermines the “clean” aspect of the product (at least subconsciously).

Our only other suggestions are more technical in nature. First, we would like to see the calories listed per can, as a carbonated beverage in a non-resealable package is ultimately a single serve can. Second, we’d like to see a specific callout for the exact milligrams of caffeine. This seems like something that would be on brand for a company supporting a chemical recovery oriented cause.

Lastly, there’s the cause itself. We’ve reviewed a lot of products where we’ve stated that the product needs to go before the cause. This brand, which, as mentioned earlier, fits nicely with the product attributes, seems to be somewhat of an exception. However, we again would like a bit more transparency in terms of what the company is actually doing. Half the profits is obviously a great intention, but we would like to see more (on the label) about how much the company has actually donated.

All in all, we like the idea of Clean Cause moving into a sparkling mate line. While there’s some room for refinement, the products that they’ve created are quite enjoyable and should pop nicely on the store shelf.

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