Review: Grillo’s Vinegar Drinks
Covers Products: Lemon Vinegar Drink, Pickle Vinegar Drink
Premium fresh pickle brand Grillo’s recently announced its move into the beverage category with the launch of this line of cold-pressed pickle vinegar drinks. The product line features two flavors, Pickle and Lemon, each packaged in a 12 oz. square plastic bottles.
The products are low in calories; the Pickle variety has only 5 calories per bottle and Lemon, which has 5 grams of added sugars from agave, has 25 calories per bottle. Other ingredient highlights include vinegar, salt, garlic and dill, with the product being positioned as being rich in electrolytes (500 mg of sodium) and vinegar for the purposes of gut and respiratory health.
The taste of these products is definitely a bit more mild than some of the other pickle juice drinks we’ve sampled in the past. They are both savory flavors and very much taste like the liquid from a container of Grillo’s pickles. In addition, they are both assertive in their flavor profiles: both the salty and tangy flavors are strong from start to finish and linger for a while.
While the Pickle variety truly tastes like unadulterated pickle juice that’s been bottled, Lemon tastes more like an original beverage creation. Thanks to the addition of cold-pressed lemon juice and agave, the formulation does taste like something in the ballpark of what you’d expect from a sports drink (but with notes of pickle, of course).
Having sampled many pickle juice products in our day, we can definitely say that Grillo’s is far and away the best we’ve tried. These are both high quality, fresh tasting products that are free of added preservatives or coloring.
However, we’re not really convinced that these products would qualify as vinegar drinks, which is a descriptor that is prominently featured on each of their labels. These products have distilled white vinegar, a key ingredient in pickle making, but “vinegar drink” commonly means apple cider vinegar or something that’s a bit more tangy.
However it is categorized, we feel that Grillo’s has done a nice job creating something that fits with the rest of the brand. They’ve followed the same styling as can be found on their pickles, which feature either a lemon (on the Lemon flavor) or pickle (on the Pickle flavor) that have been turned into playful characters. Beyond that, the label copy is easy to read, but we think that there should be some sort of cue to the fact that this is a savory beverage.
Overall, it’s honestly hard to say what the market opportunity is for these drinks, but we think that Grillo’s has done a great job putting forward products that are both high quality and true to what the company is all about.