Review: NoMI Sparkling Water
Covers Products: Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime
NoMI Sparkling Water is a zero calorie unsweetened sparkling water made by Mitten Fruit Company of Kalamazoo, Mich. The product’s key feature is its use of real fruit extract, which is the only other ingredient aside from carbonated water.
The line comes in four flavors: Lime, Lemon, Grapefruit and Cherry. This review covers the first three of those flavors and not Cherry.
When it comes to taste, NoMI is quite good as far as fruit flavored sparkling water products are concerned. The use of fruit extracts provides a very accurate flavor profile and the finish is clean and crisp across the flavors. All three are on equal footing and it ultimately comes down to a matter of personal taste in terms of which one a consumer might enjoy best.
The product is packaged in a 12 ounce slim can with a white background and a swath of color across the midsection, with a different color used for each flavor. The NoMi logo (presumably an abbreviation of Northern Michigan) sits in the center while a large fruit image sits directly below and the flavor name sits above it, all of which makes it super easy to distinguish the flavors.
Along the bottom, they’ve added copy highlighting the use of fruit extracts. For example, on the Lime flavor it says “with Real Lime Extract” and “Nothing Artificial.” While “nothing artificial” is a straightforward callout that will only be perceived positively, it’s hard to say how the word “extract” will be interpreted similarly, as it probably doesn’t sound all that different than “flavoring” by most consumers. Omitting “extract” on the front of the can would certainly be one fix.
Putting the flavor and packaging together, NoMI definitely ticks the boxes of a high quality flavored sparkling water. It’s not juice-based, but it holds its own in terms of taste with the mainstream products that use flavorings or have a lineup of more heavily flavored offerings.
However, it’s hard to say if that is enough to compete in this category right now. Offering better quality flavor has been done before and brands that are using actual juice will have a leg up on the super premium end. And competing on price is, well, not a battle that an upstart brand is going to win.
Still, NoMI is a solid brand that is making its debut with a high quality and polished product. We think a continued evolution of the brand and focus on innovation will, just like it would for any brand, help NoMI find its place in the category.