Review: Shaka Tea Gets Refreshed Packaging
Covers Products: Mango Hibiscus, Guava Gingerblossom, Lemon Lokelani, Pineapple Mint
Earlier this year, Hawaii-based Shaka Tea announced it was revamping its branding and adding new distribution. This summer, the revamp is now a reality and the product is packaged in a modern looking 14 oz. bottle.
But since this is our first review of Shaka Tea, we’re going to start at the beginning. Shaka Tea is made from mamaki, an herbal tea only found in the Hawaiian archipelago. There are four flavors available, including Pineapple Mint, Guava Ginger Blossom, Mango Hibiscus, and Lemon Lokelani Rose. The products have no added sugar and, aside from the Mango Hibiscus flavor (which has sugar from mango puree), have zero calories thanks to the use of monk fruit.
The flavor of mamaki tea tastes, at least in the way that Shaka has formulated it, like a sibling of rooibos. It has a medium body along with a slight note of spice while lacking the acidity that you can find in traditional tea. More importantly, we think the smooth and approachable flavor of it has the potential to appeal to the mainstream.
The flavor combinations that they’ve created are all pretty well executed. However, Mango Hibiscus, which has 5g of sugar from mango puree (and 30 calories per bottle) as well as added monk fruit, is definitely the best tasting. For the other flavors, which rely exclusively on monk fruit for their sweetness, there some room for improvement in terms of the sweetener aftertaste. But as far as zero calorie he drinks are concerned, Shaka is definitely up there with the best of them.
Moving on to the revamped packaging and branding, we very much like Shaka Tea’s move to a slender 14 oz glass bottle. It feels like an upscale and healthy format, while the Hawaiian themed label makes the product feel fun and approachable. We like the use of the “shaka” hand gesture, which appears on both the label and the faux wood grain custom cap.
As far as constructive feedback goes, there are two things that we would like to see tweaked on this label. First, we feel as though the call out for “tea” needs to be made larger and easier to read. Second, we think that there's an opportunity to further promote the fact that this product utilizes herbal tea grown in Hawaii. In both cases these things are present on the label but feel somewhat lost in the middle of the design.
In the end, we think that this is a really nice update for Shaka Tea. At this point, our biggest question is more one of overall strategy: should the brand focus on zero calorie offerings or should they use their best tasting SKU, which contains a bit of sugar from fruit, as the template for the line? From our perspective, we feel as though the company should at least explore the latter, even if it’s through additional line extensions as opposed to dropping the zero calorie SKUs.