Review: Pep Talk Caffeinated Sparkling Water

Posted: Jul 01, 2019 at 1:06 PM (Last Updated: Jul 10, 2019 at 11:13 AM)

Covers Products: Lemon Lime - Naturally Caffeinated, Pineapple Coconut - Naturally Caffeinated, Pink Grapefruit - Naturally Caffeinated, Tangerine Blackberry - Naturally Caffeinated

Pep Talk is a line of unsweetened flavored sparkling waters that features 55 mg of caffeine per 12 oz. can. 

The product is presently available in four flavors, including Pink Grapefruit, Lemon Lime, Pineapple Coconut, and Tangerine Blackberry. The products are made from a few straightforward ingredients: carbonated water, natural flavors, and caffeine from coffee beans.

Straightforward is also a good word to describe the flavors that they’ve created. All four taste true to the flavor names listed on the can and are in line with what you’ll find in other competing brands. Fortunately, you cannot taste the added caffeine, which was our only real concern prior to trying this product. 

Speaking of caffeine, 55 mg, which is a little more than what you’ll get from half a cup of coffee or a can of soda, seems like a fine amount for a product that’s trying to offer a bit of a pick-me-up. 

As far as the design and branding are concerned, Pep Talk has a bright look that will likely help it stand out visually. However, the front of the can has a lot going on and we think consumers might initially miss the caffeine callouts. 

We’d love to see this more tightly integrated with the logo itself -- and we’d love it if there was some sort of reference (e.g. “about half a cup of coffee”) to help consumers who aren’t familiar with caffeine content in milligrams. Both of these things would make caffeine feel like part of the brand’s DNA, which it presently does not. Given that caffeinated flavored sparkling water is very much a niche, we feel as though this is a critical challenge for the brand.

Otherwise, we like the Pep Talk name and how they’ve designed the logo. The branding feels like something that will catch your eye and that could be developed into a fun and mainstream brand. 

Overall, Pep Talk is a fresh take on the flavored sparkling water category. It offers a touch of functionality and some fun branding on top of what are otherwise mainstream offerings.


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