Review: Synapse Natural Cognitive Boost
Covers Products: Synapse
Launched in September, Synapse is a caffeine free ready-to-drink supplement that is designed to boost mental performance, focus, and energy. The product is available in a single SKU.
So how does it achieve its functionality? The product contains a host of ingredients -- including huperzia serrata, bacopa monnieri, Alpha-GPC, agave, citrulline, malate, creatine, acetyl L-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid, schisandra, and L-theanine -- that they describe on their “how it works” page on their website.
It’s a lot to take in and something that will definitely require consumers to become educated with what Synapse is offering. As with other drinks in this category, which has to date had a pretty high failure rate, this will definitely be the biggest challenge for Synapse.
As for the taste, it’s not dissimilar to what you’d get from an energy drink. This starts with a base of carbonated water, natural flavors, and Asian pear extract. It’s sweetened with agave, erythritol, and stevia. The drink has a modest amount of sweetness but only 30 calories and 8 grams of sugar per can.
While the is far from something that you’d drink for flavor alone, it’s not something that you’ll have to choke down, either. Between the base pear flavor, the sweetness, and the crispness of the carbonation, we think the taste is in a reasonable spot for a functional product.
Synapse’s packaging and branding both have a very technical style. This starts with the name Synapse, which is a very matter of fact approach to a cognitive product. They’ve carried this through in the design, which appears to be a slightly abstract illustration of a synapse or something related. And on the back you’ll find a ton of small text that is going to require significant examination by the consumer (or a visit to the company's website). These things certainly set the stage for a product that’s all about functionality, but they also give the product an almost pharmaceutical vibe that could be off-putting to some consumers.
Overall, we think that Synapse has a fine concept and that the liquid is in a pretty good spot. However, if the product wants to succeed at retail, Synapse needs to find a middle ground where the product is visually appealing and the functionality is explained in a succinct and approachable way. Until then, this product feels like something that’s best prepared for direct-to-consumer sales.