Review: Sovany Sparkling Water
Covers Products: Brilliant Tangerine, Remarkable Raspberry, Genius Apple
Sovany is a new line of fruit-flavored sparkling water that is made with real fruit juice. Launching with three flavors -- Remarkable Raspberry, Ingenious Apple, and Brilliant Tangerine -- Sovany features a touch of sweetness from added juices.
Featuring between 12-14 percent juice content per container, each can of Sovany contains 20 calories and 4-5 grams of sugar. There's definitely some sweetness to each of these products, although it’s subtle and hits you more on the back end as opposed to being front and center.
Of the three flavors, our favorite (and the one that we think has the most market potential) is Brilliant Tangerine. It tastes very much like what you’d expect from a zero calorie sparkling water, but with a much more authentic fruit flavor and a touch of sweetness. The use of orange juice concentrate is certainly a difference maker, although the added apple juice is clearly just to help he product say “no added sugar.” Still, this is a very drinkable and refreshing product.
Next up is Remarkable Raspberry. This flavor feels pretty close to where it needs to be. However, the added apple juice is something that gets in the way of the raspberry flavor. We would love to see this refined or omitted from the product.
Finally, there's Genius Apple, which, unlike the other two varieties, get its 12 percent juice content exclusively from apple juice. It serves as both its flavoring and sweetener, which is certainly straight forward (it tastes exclusively like apple) and well executed. However, we struggle to see the potential for apple flavored sparkling water, as apple juice is often considered a children’s drink. We suspect that this line would be better served with a different flavor.
On the packaging front, Sovany comes in a 10 oz. slim can with a metallic paint job and matte finish. The design features a metallic silver and painted sections that meet at an angle across the front panel. While this looks nice, it also cuts through the logo and makes it somewhat difficult to read. As a result, it requires consumers to stop and figure out what the name of the product is. This is problematic in that it detracts from explaining what the product is, which is especially critical given that the label doesn’t contain any images or other visual indicators.
That being said, we think that Sovany needs to adjust some of the callouts to make the text-based approach more effective. This starts with a callout that states the product has sweetness and calories. These facts aren’t assumed when it comes to sparkling water and are points of differentiation. Furthermore, we wonder if there’s any benefit to the adjectives built into the flavor names. No consumer is going to value these and they might potentially raise a question of whether or not this is a functional beverage (which is where you typically see this approach to flavor names).
Finally, we wonder how a 10 oz. can will be received in a category where the floor is typically 12 oz. It’s taller than a standard 12 oz. can, but slimmer, so it might create the illusion of at least being on equal footing. It certainly looks like a premium product and feels like a reasonable portion size.
All in all, we think that Sovany’s approach to the crowded sparkling water category is on the right track, and there is definitely the makings of a foundation for the brand. Refining the packaging and the flavors (aside from the Brilliant Tangerine) are, in our opinion, the next logical steps.