Posted: Feb 08, 2013 at 12:00 AM
(Last Updated: Feb 19, 2013 at 2:40 PM)
Novo’s “orange” sports drink is this variety, a 35 percent juice (white grape, coconut water, lemon) based formulation that they call Mango Mandarin. Between the juice content, the flavorings, and the added sea salt, the product definitely has a sports drink flavor profile. However, with no added sugar, it’s decidedly less sweet than your standard sports drink. We like this approach, especially if the alternative to achieving the current calorie and sugar profile (35 calories per 8 oz. serving and 9g of sugar) might be to add stevia or another sugar alternative. To that end, this product goes down very easy and does a great job of quenching your thirst. The packaging and positioning of the product are also not your typical sports drink approach. They’ve chosen a stock 16.9 oz. plastic bottle, which makes it smaller than the mainstream sports drinks. That’s something that has proven to be a challenge for many upstart sports drinks, with the end result being that they can’t compete with both a smaller size and a higher price tag. In any event, the branding is something that takes a very different approach, with no mention of hydration and a graphical treatment that isn’t going for the performance or technical angle. Instead, Novo has a homespun look that fits with the organic angle of the product. Plus, we think it could pull in drinkers who are simply looking for something refreshing rather than on the field hydration. Overall, we like the concept and, for the most part, the approach of this product. It’s definitely a great start.