Review: Fluid Cold Brew
Covers Products: Black, Cacao Mocha, Oat Milk
Fluid Cold Brew is a line of cold brew coffee drinks enhanced with electrolytes. The product is marketed as having hydration and energy benefits and the formulations are low calorie and sugar free.
The line is launching in three flavors: Oat Milk, Cacao Mocha and Black. The products have between 15 and 40 calories and the two flavored offerings are sweetened with monk fruit. Sodium bicarbonate, pink salt (in the flavored SKUs), magnesium citrate, and calcium citrate are added for electrolytes.
The Black variety, which is unsweetened and unflavored, is a straightforward and clean tasting cold brew. It’s bold but smooth, and the added electrolytes don’t negatively impact the taste.
As for the flavored offerings, we think that both of the concepts are good. Oat milk is definitely on trend and mocha is an evergreen flavor as far as coffee is concerned. However, they all have one pretty big issue: too much monk fruit flavor. This is definitely something that needs to be worked on.
When it comes to the functionality, electrolytes are admittedly hard to feel the immediate benefit of. Fortunately, electrolytes and hydration are widely accepted as a legitimate ingredient/function so we doubt that this will matter. But it’s ultimately hard to say how consumers will accept this approach to combining a coffee and a hydration beverage.
Packaging is a slim 11 ounce can that features a shrink sleeve label with a matte finish. Each flavor has a different background color, but otherwise the labels are quite similar. The top half of the label is dedicated to “HYDRATE YOUR COFFEE.” The lower half continues with smaller text, including “electrolyte infused cold brew” and the flavor name. Finally, at the bottom, is the Fluid logo with a “+” to the left of it and a callout for calories and sugar.
While the bold statement of “hydrate your coffee” speaks directly to what the product is, the logo feels easy to miss and, thanks to the “+”, the Fluid logo (a play on a water droplet and a coffee bean) feels like a product attribute rather than a logo. We feel that eliminating the plus and putting “cold brew” under the logo (which is how they display it on their website) would help. We’d also move it to a more prominent place at the top of the can.
Ultimately, we think that Fluid Cold Brew is a pretty interesting concept that brings a unique approach to the crowded cold brew category. There’s definitely some room to refine the formulation (starting with the monk fruit flavor) and packaging, but this seems like a very worthy approach.