Review: Goodwolf Water Kefir
Covers Products: Pure Bloom, Pure Ginger, Pure Gold
Goodwolf Water Kefir is a non-dairy sparkling probiotic beverage that is, at least from its flavor and functionality, a near cousin to kombucha. It currently comes in three flavors: Pure Ginger, Pure Gold, and Pure Bloom.
The base of this product comes from “kefir crystals,” which the company ferments with sugar, figs, and pink rock salt. From there, they add a host of ingredients, including apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and whatever they are using for the particular flavor. This includes pineapple, turmeric and ginger for “Pure Gold,” lavender, hibiscus, and rose for “Pure Bloom,” and ginger, lemon, and lime for “Pure Ginger.”
In terms of flavor, we’re fans of all three. They’ve created some nice variety between the three, with Pure Gold having a bright pineapple and turmeric flavor, Pure Ginger tasting like an elevated ginger ale, and Pure Bloom having smooth floral notes. They’ve managed to cram in a lot of flavor without using a ton of sugar (5-6g per 8 oz.) or calories (25 per 8 oz.). And the level of carbonation is spot on across all three.
Beyond that, all three flavors have a really nice finish that’s devoid of any fermented or vinegary flavor. Plus, the touch of salt rounds it all out. The point of all of this is that we think that there’s potential for mass appeal since this won’t be an acquired taste as some fermented beverages are.
Lastly, there’s the packaging. Goodwolf uses a 16 oz. clear glass apothecary style bottle with a resealable closure. From there, the label, which has been positioned to be on the lower half of the bottle, features a text-only design that screams “WATER KEFIR.” The company appears to be in the midst of a label change from a white background to a black background, which, seeing the black version on Pure Gold, we can certainly get beyond. However, they’ve placed “Goodwolf” vertically in a narrow font and it’s somewhat easy to miss. Otherwise, it’s simple, intuitive, and appealing and we like how they refer to the product with the succinct message of “live probiotic bubbly.”
Overall, this is the type of product that we think can really get behind: it’s on trend, super tasty, explains itself pretty clearly, and looks nice in your hand. While there’s definitely some room for further refinement, Goodwolf feels like it’s in a nice spot -- at least from a product perspective -- to start to carve out some turf in the probiotic beverage category.