Review: Sunshine Sparkling Energy Water
Covers Products: Citrus Lime, Lotus Pear, Pomegranate Acai
Announced at Natural Products Expo East 2019, Sunshine Sparkling Energy Water is a new zero-calorie line extension that complements the company’s flagship line of energy drinks. Sparkling Energy Water features three flavors, including Citrus Lime, Pomegranate Acai and Lotus Pear.
Each 12 oz. can features 70 mg of caffeine from green coffee beans as well as electrolytes and 100% of the recommended daily allowance for vitamins A through E. For a product with a clean ingredient profile, we think that it’s a good approach to leave out the herbal ingredients typically found in mainstream energy drinks.
Rather than going with some of the stalwarts of the sparkling flavored water category, Sunshine has chosen to create flavors that have a more premium feel. From a taste perspective, all three products have some sharp fruit flavor notes and a bit of tang to the finish. They don’t all always taste true to the flavor (although what does lotus and pear really taste like anyway?), but they are all enjoyable, especially when considered against traditional energy drinks.
But a straight up replacement for your standard fruit flavored sparkling water these are not. We feel there’s a slight difference in flavor when consuming this over a flavored sparkling water; Specifically, Sunshine tastes a bit more full in body. We’re on the fence as to whether or not this is a good thing.
In terms of design, we’d describe the look as having a positive and energetic vibe. This starts with the name Sunshine and how the logo is treated visually, with literal sun rays emanating from it. From there, the hierarchy of text -- which includes the name of the line, the flavor name and the functional benefits -- flows intuitively from top to bottom.
We do, however, have two suggestions. First, we’d really love a more prominent callout for the caffeine content, as this is the actual reason that you’re buying the product. Second, the choice of label leaves exposed a good amount of the bare silver can. A shrink sleeve or fully painted can would be a nice upgrade.
Overall, we think this is a smart line extension for Sunshine, giving the company a slightly more approachable, even lower calorie offering than their flagship product. A bit of flavor and label refinement would certainly help, but all three flavors are pretty solid.