Review: The Water Kefir People
Covers Products: Hibiscus Rose Hip, Lavender Blueberry, Original Root Beer, Strawberry Basil, Tumeric Ginger
The Water Kefir People is a line of organic handcrafted probiotic beverages that were designed with the intention of being an “option for the whole family.” Available in six flavors, the Bend, Ore. based company is also hanging its hat on being small batch and local.
For our review, we were able to sample five flavors: Original Root Beer, Strawberry Basil, Lavender Blueberry, and Turmeric Ginger. The base of all of the products starts out with their water kefir, which is made with water, organic cane sugar, brown cane sugar, sea salt, and tibicos (culture). From there, simple ingredients are added to craft each individual flavor.
All five of the products are enjoyable and are slightly similar to kombucha in terms of the underlying fermented flavor. However, these flavors have a less tannic flavor profile than a tea based fermented beverage and are really smooth in their finish. The product has 40 calories and 10g of sugar per bottle, which also puts it in a ballpark that’s similar to kombucha.
We were most fond of Original Root Beer, the Lavender Blueberry (which drinks almost like a black cherry soda), and the Turmeric Ginger. We feel as though these flavors will have the broadest appeal. The Strawberry Basil and Hibiscus Rose Hip were a bit more adventurous in their flavors, although they are still quite nice.
Packaging and messaging are areas that the product could stand to improve upon. The Water Kefir People is packaged in a clear 16 oz. glass bottle that features white lettering that’s printed on the bottle. While the design is definitely minimalist, it’s very text heavy and the quality of the printing is inconsistent (some of the bottles had a blurry letters, for example).
Our bigger question for this product is how or if they should use the word “soda,” which is somewhat prominently placed on the lower portion of the bottle. Being a healthy replacement for soda is great, it’s just a matter of whether or not this word helps or hurts the consumer’s perception of what they are selling. From our perspective, “sparkling” is a much better word and one that’s being used very successfully in other beverage categories.
In the end, we think that The Water Kefir People’s products are enjoyable and will definitely be able to hold their own against other products in the sparkling probiotic space. However, for the brand to really become a leader in the space, there’s still some refinement to do in terms of how the product presents itself.