Review: Olipop Sparkling Tonics

Posted: Feb 15, 2019 at 12:40 PM (Last Updated: Feb 15, 2019 at 1:17 PM)

Covers Products: Cinnamon Cola, Ginger Lemon, Strawberry Vanilla

Designed with gut health in mind, Olipop is a line of premium carbonated soft drinks that feature prebiotics, botanicals, and plant fiber in a low calorie and low sugar format.

All three of the initial flavors, which includes Cinnamon Cola, Ginger Lemon, and Strawberry Vanilla, feature original and sophisticated flavor profiles. More importantly, all three are very tasty and enjoyable, which is quite impressive considering that the product contains stevia rather than added sugar, resulting in a line that has 30-35 calories per can and only 2g of sugars.

We were particularly fond of Cinnamon Cola and Ginger Lemon, flavors which are really nice riffs on a classic cola and a classic ginger ale, respectively. In the case of Cinnamon Cola, the subtle note of cinnamon does a great job elevating the drink and making it clear that this isn’t just another run-of-the-mill craft cola. For Ginger Lemon, lemon juice and ginger essence are a pairing that work really well together, with the bright flavor of the lemon and the spice of the ginger being pretty potent. Lastly, there’s Strawberry Vanilla, which is good, though the strawberry flavor is a bit too strong for our liking.

While flavor is important and will ultimately determine whether consumers drink this product on a regular basis or not, the 9g of fiber contained in each can means there’s some pretty marketable functionality to this product. While the ingredients list a proprietary “OliSMART” blend, they otherwise don’t really do a great job of explaining this on the can.

Taking a look at the rest of the package, we think there’s some good stuff here but also some work left to do. On the positive, we like Olipop’s approach to branding and graphics, which have an almost retro vibe to them.

However, the rest of the design needs work, starting with the number of callouts that are vying for your eye on the front panel. We’d love to see more focus on the product’s key attributes, including the modest level of calories and the fiber content.

Overall, Olipop is a fun and well-executed product entry into the premium carbonated soft drink space. Its strongest assets are, in our opinion, its ability to deliver high quality low-calorie flavor using stevia and its cute looking brand. If they can evolve the branding to better display its functionality, this product seems like something that will potentially be very marketable.

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