Posted: Jul 31, 2012 at 9:32 AM
(Last Updated: Aug 23, 2012 at 11:20 AM)
KonaRed, which is based upon KonaRed’s coffee fruit extract, now comes in a “Lite” version that features 130 calories per bottle. Compared to their flagship product, this one has apple juice in place of blackberry juice and has added monkfruit (which is a natural, sugar-free sweetener) along with stevia (also found in the flagship variety). The flavor is light, but has a subtle tartness, with a note of apple that keeps the coffee fruit and sweeteners from having a bitter finish. Ultimately, we prefer the lighter mouthfeel of this product over the original variety. Nutritionally, this product is, like the rest of the KonaRed varieties, billed as a high antioxidant (7909 ORAC) superfruit juice. It also features 100% RDA vitamin C, 200% vitamin E, 10% iron, and 27mg of caffeine per 8 ounce serving. Visually, the white label and the use of the word “Lite” imply that this is a low calorie product, which it is not. Figuring out another way to position this particular flavor, which is very enjoyable in its own right, would probably be better in the long run. Otherwise, reformulating to the point where it’s substantially lower in calories (and therefore more in line with competing reduced calorie beverages) would be an alternative approach. Overall, KonaRed Lite is an enjoyable tasting addition to the lineup, but we’re not sold on the positioning and design of this particular variety.