Review: Limitless Adds Sparkling Caffeinated Water to the Mix
Covers Products: Blood Orange, Cucumber Pear, Ginger Mint, Grapefruit Hibiscus, Lemon Lime, Watermelon
Chicago-based Limitless Coffee, which, at least until now, has been producing cold brew coffee, matcha tea, and coffee beans, has made a jump into the flavored sparkling water category. In this case, they are doing it with a product that is juiced with caffeine extracted from coffee beans.
While we can’t think of another coffee company taking this approach, it seems like one with some reasonable merit and alignment with the brand. Limitless’ lineup includes six flavors (Lemon Lime, Watermelon, Ginger Mint, Cucumber Pear, Blood Orange, and Grapefruit Hibiscus), each of which have 35 mg of caffeine and zero calories per can.
From a taste perspective, these products are all well crafted. The flavors are straightforward and accurate tasting and their intensity should be spot on for most palates. The products are light and crisp across the board and it would be pretty easy for just about any consumer of sparkling water to find one that they like. Our favorites were the Watermelon, Blood Orange and the Grapefruit Hibiscus, but only because these are a bit more memorable and unique than some of the others.
The addition of caffeine is something that still seems like a bit of a long play for the sparkling water category. Currently, the category is very much focused on zero across the board and having 35 mg of caffeine certainly breaks from this a bit. In the short term, that puts this product in a niche of the larger market and one that’s currently occupied by only a small number of other brands. But in the medium or longer term, it certainly seems possible that products like this will grab some dollars from the energy drink and CSD players who use caffeine as a benefit.
One place that the product line hasn’t strayed from the category norm is packaging. The product is packaged in a 12 oz. can and, at least in the samples we received for review, using a shrink sleeve label. The design of the label relies heavily on the Limitless “flame” logo, which feels slightly less relevant for a water brand although it certainly offers continuity across the lineup. The labels are otherwise clean in design and well organized and we think that a consumer can, for the most part, quickly grasp what the product is.
Perhaps the only exception is the callout for 35 mg of caffeine. While most people in the industry know what this means and how it equates to other caffeinated beverages, knowledge at the consumer level is still not quite there. We’d love to see a comparison to a cup of coffee or something that speaks to the fact that this is not a highly caffeinated product.
Lastly, there’s one technical issue: the yellow used for Lemon Lime is very hard to read. It’s almost impossible to read from a few feet away or if the can has moisture on it. We’d love to see this adjusted.
In the end, we like both the concept and, minor tweaks aside, the execution of Limitless Sparkling Caffeinated Water. It’s definitely a worthy product and one that has some potential to fit in the white space of the category.