Review: Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha
Covers Products: Apple Mint (2018), Ginger Peach (2018), Tropical Mango (2018)
Announced at the Natural Products Expo West 2018, Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha is a three-flavor line of USDA Certified organic kombucha drinks.
Adding prebiotic content to kombucha is Wonder Drink’s latest attempt to differentiate in a category that has seen competition stiffen amid a seemingly never-ending supply of new product entries. However, with this comes what is potentially an added layer of complexity for the consumer:They not only have to understand what kombucha is all about, but they will also need to understand what the addition of prebiotics does to to the underlying drink.
As for the explanation, which is found on the back of the can, Wonder Drink hopes that these products will further aid digestive health by providing something (prebiotics) that aren’t naturally found in your gut.
However, as we've said in other product reviews, health benefits are only useful if the beverage is something that the consumer actually wants to drink. Fortunately, we think Wonder Drink has done a pretty nice job formulating these products with the mainstream consumer in mind.
Each of the three flavors, which includes Ginger Peach, Apple Mint, and Tropical Mango, has 50 calories per can and utilizes a blend of cane sugar and Stevia for sweetness. There are added juice concentrates as well as natural flavors to give these products their fruit flavors. That being said, these products taste less like kombucha and more like flavored tea drinks aside from a slight bite at the finish.
The obvious comparison will be to existing kombucha products, but this is definitely something that tastes different and probably isn't for the consumer who was already drinking kombucha on a daily basis. Instead, we think that this is probably geared more towards a mainstream consumer who hasn't yet latched on to the slightly fermented flavor that is associated with the category. It's hard to tell if this is a good approach or not, but it certainly gives the brand its own niche in the space.
For our palate, we would prefer less flavoring and more of the natural taste of the added fruit juice. And we could certainly live without the slight note of stevia that you’ll find at the finish.
On the outside, the products are packaged in a slim 12 oz can that features a red metallic paint job. It's visually appealing and definitely catches the eye even from afar. They've arranged all of the text in a way that's easy to read calling the most attention to the word “prebiotic” which is in all capital letters.
As we stated at the beginning, we think that there's a lot to digest here in the sense that the consumer will have to stop and think about the word prebiotic and what it means in relation kombucha. Introducing a new and different word (since all other competitors focus exclusively on probiotics) comes with the risk that the consumer will just go with what they know. We’d love to see the word probiotic given just a bit more emphasis than it presently.
All in all, Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha could certainly use a bit of fine-tuning when it comes to the execution of the flavor and perhaps the label copy, but it otherwise seems like a well-developed product with a nice point of differentiation.