Review: Hello Water
Covers Products: Laugh, Smile
On the surface, this sounds pretty straightforward: a naturally sweetened flavored water that has added fiber. That certainly sounds like something that has potential space in the marketplace. However, each flavor features a verb: “Smile” for Mixed Berry, “Laugh” for Lemon Lime, and “Love” for Cucumber Lime. These are clearly there for inspiration purposes and to make the products feel inviting, but for us, they were a distraction from our ability to quickly grasp the product’s benefits. Specifically, you are forced to evaluate this -- is it the drink’s function? Is it the flavor? What does it mean? And in reality, it has nothing to do with what’s inside the bottle.
Speaking of what’s inside the bottle, these products are actually quite tasty as far as zero calorie beverages are concerned. While the clear liquid and “natural essence water” made us expect something akin to Hint Water, the additional sweetness is a nice change of pace. The products use a blend of erythritol and stevia, which has a pretty natural sweetness and minimal aftertaste. However, the fruit flavors taste like flavorings and there’s definitely some room for improvement.
Finally, there’s the packaging. The product comes in a 16 oz. clear plastic bottle that’s more commonly used for juice products, so it definitely has a unique look as far as flavored water drinks. The label is clear with a back panel that has fruit images on it. This was designed with the intention of the consumer looking
The issue with this approach is that it makes the identification of the flavor slightly cumbersome, especially given the previously mentioned issue of the inspirational words (Laugh, Love, or Smile) that are placed vertically in the middle of the label. In addition, we think it would be helpful to give a more direct nod to the fact that this is a sweetened product. And of course there’s the added fiber: in the current version, this feels like something that’s an afterthought that isn’t explained overly well.All in all, Hello Water is a product line that feels like it has some merit as far as what it currently offers to the consumer. But like many upstart product lines, it feels a bit rough around the edges, especially when it comes to how it presents itself and communicates its value proposition. From there, dialing in the flavor and finding a happy medium between the fruit flavors and the sweeteners would certainly help as well.