Review: Free Rain
Covers Products: Blackberry & Passionflower for Calm, Blood Orange Ginger & Ashwagandha for Focus, Tart Cherry & Siberian Ginseng for Energy
Free Rain is a line of sparkling waters that are enhanced with functional ingredients and feature a unique flavor profile. The current lineup includes three SKUs: Tart Cherry & Siberian Ginseng for Energy, Blood Orange Ginger and Ashwagandha for Focus, and Blackberry & Passionflower for Calm.
The formulations for these include a modest amount of juice that ranges from 17% to 21% depending on the SKU. This provides both the flavor (along with other added extracts) and a hint of sweetness and there is otherwise no added sugar. The end result is a product that has 25 calories and 5 grams of sugar.
When we opened the cans, the first thing that we noticed was the high level of carbonation. Despite the products being quite cold before sampling, the cans bubbled over upon opening to the point where liquid was running down the can. We’re assuming that this wasn’t the intent, so that’s something that they can hopefully smooth out in a future production run.
Otherwise, Free Rain has done a nice job with these flavors. The added juice is a key part of this -- and it helps that each flavor actually contains its namesake fruit juice that provides the base flavor. While there are other accents in these drinks, such as lime in Tart Cherry flavor, cinnamon in Blackberry, and ginger in Blood Orange, they are very subtle.
Last, but not least, there seems to be at least a little hint of flavor from the added herbal ingredients. They’ve added 330mg of siberian ginseng to Tart Cherry, 255mg of passionflower to Blackberry, and 140mg of ashwagandha to the Blood Orange.
Free Rain comes in a slim 12 ounce can with a shrink sleeve label. Each flavor uses a unique color for the background, which appears to have a slight gradient and some noise to it. The name of the SKU is at the top of the can, while the center is left empty. Along the lower third is where you’ll find a large FREE RAIN logo with “enhanced sparkling water” beneath it.
While this is a novel design approach, it feels like the product is missing something and it requires your eye to jump from top to bottom to find each of the important elements. And for us, “Free Rain” isn’t really something that speaks to what the product is and, for whatever reason, the brand feels a bit sterile right now.
In the end, we like the approach of pairing sparkling water made with fruit juice and some pretty mainstream herbal ingredients. Yet the design and messaging behind Free Rain could be improved to make for a more cohesive and inviting brand.