Review: Koia “Keto”

Posted: Dec 20, 2018 at 2:31 PM (Last Updated: Dec 20, 2018 at 3:15 PM)

Covers Products: Keto - Cake Batter, Keto - Caramel Creme, Keto - Chocolate Brownie

Koia, maker of non-GMO verified plant-based nutrition beverages, is expanding its portfolio with a three-flavor line of ketogenic (keto) protein drinks.

Simply called Koia Keto, the line will be launching at Whole Foods in January, in three varieties: Chocolate Brownie, Caramel Creme, and Cake Batter. Each contains  12 grams of plant protein (from brown rice, pea protein, and chickpea protein), 14 g of MCTs from coconut oil, 270 calories and no added sugar, with monk fruit as the preferred sweetener. And since these are keto products, you’ll find 22 g of fat and only 5 grams of net carbs per bottle.

In appearance, Koia has done a really nice job creating something that utilizes its existing branding and 12 oz bottle, but also feels different. It has achieved this by placing a black background on the lower portion of the bottle, which also helps its readability. They’ve also placed “Keto” front and center, so there’s no mistaking the product’s intended use (although we’re sure some consumers may not be familiar with the diet). The hierarchy of nutritional callouts is really straightforward and to the point as well.

As for the flavor, this is one area where the products can improve. Across the three flavors, we found inconsistencies in terms of the level of sweetener aftertaste as well as the viscosity.

For example, Cake Batter, which will likely be the most polarizing in terms of its appeal, is the best of the bunch. It’s light in body, has pretty accurate flavoring, and has the lowest amount of sweetener aftertaste. On the other hand, the very thick, indulgent Chocolate Brownie, has a level of sweetness that we found difficult to get past. Finally, Caramel Creme  is much closer to Cake Batter and seems just about where it needs to be in terms of flavor.

In the end, we think that Koia Keto is an innovative, timely, and mostly well-executed line extension for the brand. If they can improve the flavor and dial back the sweetener aftertaste, it can stand as a pretty complete offering.

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