Review: Hapi Water Brings Kids a Sugar Free Drink Pouch

Posted: Oct 12, 2017 at 10:49 AM (Last Updated: Oct 12, 2017 at 11:10 AM)

Covers Products: Apple Joy, Grape D'Vine, Pure Punch

Hapi Water is an all-natural sugar-free kids drink that is packaged in a pouch with an attached straw. It is sold exclusively in an 8-pack carton that can be found at certain grocery stores as well as Amazon.

Originally launched a few years ago, the brand was given a packaging refresh in early 2017. This design, which is modern and clean, is a large step up from the original design (which was basically a silver uncolored pouch). Unlike other kids products that often use cartoonish designs to attempt to appeal to kids, Hapi Water’s design feels more mature. Each package features two primary colors that are used for the text and illustrations. The primary callout is “0 grams of sugar,” which is certainly a nice reminder for the parents who ultimately purchase the product.

If you’ve ever had a Capri Sun, this is basically the same concept, but without the sweetener. It uses the same pouch package, which is certainly convenient in terms of portability. However, it can also be pretty frustrating to open when it comes to having to get the straw into the pouch (there’s a tiny hole that needs to be pierced and the straw is somewhat flimsy).

Hapi Water’s version comes in three flavors: Apple Joy, Grape D’Vine, and Pure Punch. The products are sweetened with a blend of xylitol and stevia, which is noticeable in all three of the formulations. The fruit flavors are straightforward and basic, which is to say that they aren’t super accurate in terms of tasting like the actual fruits that they are based on.

But it’s really the sweetener, which is noticeable and lingers, that’s the issue for us. While we’re sure that some kids are willing to accept the flavor of these sweeteners, we think it will be a tough sell to really gain mass appeal. So far, no brand has been able to crack this -- and frankly we think it’s probably less of a leap to sell kids on an unsweet product (e.g. LaCroix or Hint Water). For a brand called Hapi Water, we don’t think it would be that much of a pivot to consider this approach.

In the end, we appreciate what Hapi Water is trying to do in terms of reducing the sugar intake of kids. And we really do like the packaging update that they’ve created. However, we’ve seen a variety of products try and get kids to consume zero calorie sweeteners and none of them have been able to do this in a broad way. We see that as a major hurdle for Hapi Water -- and it’s one that we frankly wonder if they can get past with the current approach.

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