Review: Ugly Limited Edition Flavors Tackle Soda Head On
Covers Products: Cherry Cola, Dr. Ugly, Orange Soda
Amidst the global pandemic of 2020, Ugly recently announced a new limited edition flavor program to help further drive the company’s DTC business. Today, we’re taking a look at three of these flavors, including Cherry Cola, Dr. Ugly and Orange Soda.
Despite leaning into classic soda flavors and branding, these products are zero calorie flavored sparkling waters just like the rest of the Ugly family. They are unsweetened and are simply a blend of sparkling water and natural flavors.
So, how do soda flavored sparkling water beverages taste? Fortunately for Ugly, quite good. This is only the second time that we can recall seeing cola as a sparkling water (the first being LaCroix’s “Nicola”) and with the added cherry flavoring, it’s shocking how close Cherry Cola tastes to the real thing. We’d say the same for Dr. Ugly, which is a near dead ringer for Dr Pepper, and Orange Soda, which is reminiscent of Sunkist orange soda.
Given that these products lack the sweeteners that you’ll find in their traditional soda counterparts, be it sugar, high fructose corn syrup or a zero calorie sweetener, they are much lighter in body and are quite crushable and refreshing.
These products present an interesting opportunity: They definitely feel like a pretty neat alternative for the diet soda drinker, but it also gives other consumers the ability to enjoy cola and other soda flavors without the calories and sugar.
While these flavors are limited edition, they certainly feel like something that could be broken out into its own sub-line of sorts. The market for these flavors as CSDs is still quite massive and they definitely translate to sparkling water quite nicely. Plus, it seems like a better approach than continuing to add fruit flavors to the line until the brand reaches the realm of the esoteric.
As for the packaging and branding, these products utilize a blank can and a short run adhesive label. The label itself is the same blue that’s used on Ugly’s flagship line. The label format otherwise follows the same approach of having the Ugly logo running vertically down the front of the can with a chat bubble style callout for the flavor name. On the side is a large “U” icon and the tagline “get real, get Ugly.” It’s eye-catching, polished, fun, and, most importantly, memorable.