(Last Updated: Jun 24, 2014 at 10:39 AM)
Along with a new packaging design, Runa’s “Original” Clean Energy has also been given a makeover of its flavor profile. Unlike its predecessor, which was made with only four ingredients, this version has added lime flavoring (from lime extract and flavoring). Honestly, we have somewhat mixed feelings about the new formulation. On the one hand, the added lime flavoring is a familiar one. On the other hand, the flavor of the guayusa definitely takes a back seat to that of the lime. The result is something that tastes more like a flavored seltzer than a tea. And compared with the lime-free version, we feel as though this formulation would probably be better off with some sweetener. Still, the product is enjoyable, but the addition of lime has definitely changed our opinion on this product’s efforts to be free of sweetener. Alternatively, we wonder if Runa couldn’t dial the lime flavoring down a bit. Functionally, the product has plenty of punch, with 120mg of caffeine per 8.4 oz. can. On the outside, we like the aesthetics of the new design. It’s great to see how Runa has incorporated the leaf into the layout. This was missing from the first design, which left you wondering what was inside the can. The new approach not only looks better, but it also feels more closely aligned with the company's flagship product line. However, the type treatment and organization of the flavor name, the word “zero” (which is very hard to read), and the “with a hint of lime” text feels like it could be tightened up. All in all, we’re fond of this product, especially since it aligns better with their brand.