Review: Hiblisscus Blends
Covers Products: Ginger Hibiscus, Green Tea Hibiscus
Hiblisscus Blends is a line of naturally flavored hibiscus-based beverages whose premise is the health benefits of the hibiscus flower: the bottle notes that hibiscus has “been used for centuries to promote a healthy lifestyle.”
While there are four flavors in total, we were only able to sample two of them, Ginger Hibiscus and Green Tea Hibiscus, as this was what the company sent to us. It was definitely enough to get the gist of the lineup as the hibiscus flavor is front and center in both of the products that we sampled.
Inside the bottle, the drinks taste similar to other hibiscus based beverages that we’ve had over the years. Perhaps the only difference is its lower level of sweetness, which comes from the use of agave and stevia. In both of the flavors, the stevia provides a somewhat unpleasant finishing note, so we’d love to see this disappear from the mix, even if it means needing to increase the sugar content. We think they’ve got some room to adjust since the product is currently at 10 calories and 3g of sugar per 8 ounces; going up to 25 calories would probably make no difference to the consumer. Otherwise, the products are pleasant tasting, but somewhat one-dimensional in that the hibiscus is far and away the strongest flavor. Adjusting the flavor profile such that the secondary flavor is more prominent would be the logical adjustment. Otherwise, this brand is, despite having four flavors, only offering one experience in all of the flavors.
Packaging is a stock 16 oz. bottle with a sleeve wrap label. The look of the label and the branding feel technical, rather than approachable and appealing. The label’s dark color makes the text hard to read, and the flower images hard to see. Also, because they’ve made the entire premise of the product about hibiscus and its benefits, the messaging fails to acknowledge one key function of every beverage: refreshment. Furthermore, we take issue with the “sweetened with agave” callout when the product is, in fact, also sweetened with stevia. Ultimately, there’s a fair amount of cleanup and improvement that’s needed with the product’s packaging.
All in all, Hiblisscus Blends feels rough around the edges. There are some good ideas here -- healthy ingredients, natural flavoring, low calories -- but they haven’t yet put them together into something cohesive, and the execution needs work as well.