Review: Proper Wild Clean Energy Shot

Posted: May 26, 2020 at 10:44 AM (Last Updated: May 27, 2020 at 3:59 PM)
Proper Wild Clean Energy Shot

Covers Products: Blackberry, Ginger, Peach Mango

Proper Wild is a line of 2.5 oz shelf stable energy shots that are enhanced with caffeine, L-theanine and ginseng. The line comes in three flavors: Ginger, Blackberry and Peach Mango.

The products are sweetened with cane sugar (5 grams) and, as a result, each variety has 25 calories. Other ingredients for these products include juice concentrates, natural flavors, citric acid and gellan gum. 

For the functional blend, which results in the product being labeled as a dietary supplement, they’ve added 180 mg each of organic caffeine (from green tea), L-theanine (also from green tea) and organic panax ginseng extract. On their website, the company markets the mix of caffeine and L-theanine as having cognitive benefits.

As far as taste goes, Proper Wild is a bit lighter than its mainstream counterparts. In addition, the fact that Proper Wild uses sugar rather than a zero calorie sweetener makes a pretty big difference in the drinkability of these products. Still, this product definitely has some functional flavor and a slight burn to its finish -- but we don’t think it’s enough to scare anyone anyway. Otherwise, all three flavors are comparable in terms of their execution and are straightforward and true to the flavor name.

On the outside, Proper Wild uses a stock shot bottle with a matte finish shrink sleeve label and a stock white cap. 

Certainly no one will mistake this for anything but a shot, which is a good thing. Otherwise, the look of the product is clean and attractive, which is something that isn’t always said about products in this format. There’s a tendency to clutter up the front with callouts and small text, but Proper Wild has gone the other direction with a more minimalist look to it. 

The hierarchy goes from “Clean All Day Energy” to the Proper Wild logo and finally to the package size and “dietary supplement.” It’s intuitive and very easy to read, while the abstract background keeps your eye focused on the text.

However, we can’t help but look at this and wish there was a callout for the caffeine content somewhere on the front. This is important information for any highly caffeinated product and we don’t like having to search for it. 

Otherwise, Proper Wild is a much more subtle brand than what’s typical of the category. This doesn’t scream “ENERGY” at you and the name “Proper Wild” could be used on just about any type of product. This should certainly be appealing to some consumers, especially in so far as it keeps a low profile.  

And that brings us to the biggest question for this brand: how does Proper Wild stand out? There seems like a nice story to tell but right now that largely falls to the company’s website rather than the actual product. This should suffice for DTC, but if the brand branches out into retail we think they might need to do a bit more.

Overall, Proper Wild is a nice entry into the energy shot category. It delivers a relatively clean formulation with a flavor profile that should be somewhat familiar to mainstream energy shot consumers.


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