Review: Herbert Sparkling Phytotonics
Covers Products: Lemon Ginger, Lime, Raspberry Lime
Herbert is a Canadian brand that creates produces “phytotonics,” which they describe as beverages that are derived from plans and “benefit the human body and psyche.” The lineup features three functional sparkling beverages that are packaged in 11 oz. glass bottles.
The SKUs include Clarify Dandelion, Unwind Passionflower and Uplift Ashwagandha. The products are low in calories (15-20 per bottle) and contain no added sugar or sweeteners (3-4 grams per bottle). Instead, a touch of juice provides the sweetness and, along with the added herbal ingredients, much of the flavor.
Fortunately, the flavor combinations are quite good. These products are lightly carbonated and crisp, which pairs nicely with the drinks’ slightly earthy and floral notes. There are no added flavorings and everything you taste comes from the herbal ingredients and added juice. Finally, all three flavors include a touch of apple cider vinegar, which provides a nice tart finish.
Of the three, we particularly liked Clarify Dandelion, which is a lemon ginger flavor, and Uplift Ashwagandha, which has a lime flavor. The sharper citrus notes of these two SKUs are quite enjoyable and refreshing. The Unwind Passionflower, which is raspberry lime flavored, felt like it needed a bit more punch to keep up with the other two.
From a functional standpoint, we think they’ve kept it approachable by using only one functional ingredient per SKU and not going too heavy with the messaging. We do, however, feel that an ingredient like ashwagandha is going to be more marketable than passionflower.
Turning to the packaging, the products use an amber glass bottle with a slight green tint. The clear label features a single pastel color for each SKU and it’s pretty easy to tell the three apart.
As this is a product for the Canadian market, the label features copy in both English and French on the label. This includes the center of the label and most of the front-of-bottle real estate. Flanking this text are the “h” icon on the left and the company’s name on the right in a vertical orientation.
While we think it’s a pretty cool looking and clean design, we wish that we could see a bit more of either the logo or icon when looking at the bottle straight on. As it stands right now, both of these items are a bit off to the side and hard to see without turning the bottle.
Otherwise, we think that Herbert is in a really good spot where it stands right now. The product is quite tasty, slick looking, and provides a light dose of functionality on top of a formulation that’s naturally low in calories and sugar.