Review: Collective Project
Covers Products: Sparkling Juice: Cucumber, Lemon & Lime, Sparkling Juice: Mango, Pineapple & Coconut, Sparkling Tea: Raspberry & Hibiscus Rooibos Tea
Collective Project is a line of sparkling cocktail-inspired beverages that are infused with 20mg of hemp CBD per 12 ounce can. The product line is the creation of Canadian craft beer brewer Collective Arts Brewing and was formulated by the company’s in-house mixologists.
There are three flavors available at the brand’s launch, including two varieties of sparkling juice (Cucumber Lemon & Lime, Mango Pineapple & Coconut) and one sparkling tea (Raspberry & Hibiscus Rooibos Tea).
The company aims to “support the global arts community” by featuring a rotating series of limited-edition works of art from artists around the world on the products’ labels. At launch time, the two juices feature art from Gallit Shaltiel, while the tea highlights the work of Marion Griesse.
As you can probably tell from the pictures of the products, this results in two very different visual identities for the juices compared with the tea. The label itself helps create further distinction between the two lines. For the juices, the label has a stacked layout that consumes less horizontal space; in contrast, the tea uses a red band that runs long enough that you have to turn the can to read all of the text.
While we definitely appreciate the use of original designs from artists, we feel that Collective Project needs to do a bit more work to make sure that they are creating branding that’s inviting, intuitive and memorable. As presently executed, we feel as though the branding takes a back seat to the art and fails to deliver a consistent look. We’re sure that some fine tuning can fix this.
Moving on to the formulations, we will say that we like the general direction that they’ve taken. Here’s a rundown of the three that we sampled:
Mango Pineapple Coconut - There’s a good amount of mango and pineapple flavor, but we found the coconut flavor to be a bit too strong. It tastes like a riff on a piña colada and is really the only flavor that felt like it was “cocktail inspired.”
Cucumber, Lemon & Lime -- This variety has a fresh and light flavor profile with notes of cucumber, lemon, and lime and a note of hemp to the finish. This was the only flavor where we felt like we could taste the hemp.
Raspberry & Hibiscus Rooibos - There’s some good raspberry flavor (and the sweetness that comes along with it) on the front while the hibiscus taste comes closer to the finish. And you definitely cannot taste the addition of CBD.
The products, which have under 100 calories per can, feel like they are on trend for both the sparkling and CBD beverage categories. However, the cocktail inspired aspect didn’t really come through in any meaningful way. From our perspective, we’d suggest maybe dropping this part of the value proposition and instead focusing on the quality of the ingredients.
Overall, the Collective Project’s three initial flavors are nice entries into the CBD beverage space. We think they’ve got some good building blocks to work with.