Review: Kra Goes After the Sports Drink Category with an Organic Offering
Covers Products: Berry, Fruit Punch, Lemon, Orange
Kra, which stands for “Keep Rising Above,” is an organic sports drink that believes simplicity is its best point of differentiation.
While many up and coming sports drinks rely on functional ingredients (and are even labeled as supplements), Kra’s formulation relies on straightforward ingredients, including sugar, salt, fruit juices, and flavorings. The result is something that also tastes very straightforward, with the classic blend of salty and sweet being a dominant theme throughout.
Kra currently comes in four varieties, Orange, Berry, Lemon, and Fruit Punch, each of which uses what is, at least for sports drinks, a somewhat high level of juice content, ranging from 17-21 percent per flavor. Otherwise, the flavors themselves fall into the realm of standard sports drink flavors. The biggest potential benefits of consuming this liquid over another sports drink is the slightly cleaner flavor and the USDA Organic ingredients.
The branding and messaging that Kra uses definitely focuses on the fact that the product is organic. While Gatorade has also launched an organic offering, Kra’s organic designation is still a somewhat meaningful point of differentiation. However, the actual execution of the brand looks a bit too similar to an energy drink. Furthermore, the way that they’ve treated the logo, which is placed vertically and uses a very wide font, makes it somewhat hard to read.
In addition, it feels like there is some unfinished work to do with regards to connecting the dots for the consumer. The statement “organic hydration = peak performance” is not something that they’ve backed up (nor are they likely to be able to). From our perspective, focusing on “clean,” which is something that can be can backed up, is probably a better bet.
But in either case, the market has not yet shown that it wants an organic version of the classic sports drink. This is not the first product to try this approach -- and while it sounds like an intuitive evolution of the category, it is something that other companies have not been successful with. That’s not to say that Kra is a bad idea or that there isn’t opportunity out there, but rather that there needs to be more to it than simply having organic ingredients.Overall, Kra is a fine and enjoyable product, but we think there’s a critical next step in the product’s evolution that will ultimately determine what kind of staying power the brand will have.