by Cleen Craft, Inc.

Review: Cleen:Craft

Posted: Sep 23, 2020 at 3:45 PM (Last Updated: Sep 24, 2020 at 10:58 AM)

Covers Products: Hemp Cola, Hemp Ginger, Hemp Lime

Cleen Craft is a line of hemp enhanced carbonated soft drinks that come in a variety of classic soda flavors. The products are sugar sweetened and include 16 mg of hemp extract as well as velvet bean (mucuna pruriens).

The line currently features three flavors: Cola, Ginger and Lime, all of which are sweetened with cane sugar and which contain natural flavors. The drinks have between 80 and 100 calories (with 19-24 grams of sugar) per 8.4 oz can. And finally, there’s the added hemp extract and velvet bean, which is a lesser known ayurvedic ingredient.

When it comes to taste, these products are about as straightforward as they come. They need little to no explanation beyond saying that the Cola tastes like cola, Ginger tastes like ginger ale, and Lime tastes like a lemon lime soda. The use of cane sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup is probably Cleen Craft’s biggest strength; Otherwise, the added functional ingredients don’t have a negative effect on flavor, which is definitely a good thing.

On the outside, the products use an unprinted 8.4 oz can with a thick glossy label wrapped around it. The top two-thirds of the can have a background color that’s unique to each flavor while the lower third is white with the accent color used again on the text. 

In terms of what’s on the label, there are a few text elements, including the flavor name, the “power your mood” tagline, and the word “HEMP” that’s inside of an outlined box that appears to be trying to call attention to itself. Finally, in the middle of the label, is the Cleen Craft logo. This includes an abstract image that appears to be a C and an H followed by the brand name spelled out phonetically as “clēēn:craft.” 

In our opinion, we think the logo and message could be made more intuitive. We’d start with the aesthetics: the logo should be more prominent and easily readable and we’d get rid of the CH logo as it’s hard on the eyes.Cleen Craft itself is a nice sounding brand that should get more airtime. 

In addition, we think the product needs a clear statement of what it is: a sparkling beverage enhanced with hemp and flavored like a CSD.  In the product’s present version, none of this feels obvious and we think there’s way too much emphasis on the fact that it contains hemp. While hemp might get the initial wave of curious buyers in the door, we don’t think that it alone is enough of a differentiating factor at this point.

Overall, Cleen Craft has done a nice job formulating these drinks to have very enjoyable taste with no negative impact on flavor from the added functional ingredients. If it can improve the product packaging and messaging, we believe the brand will likely find good opportunities to grow. 

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