Review: Vita 500 Seems Lost in Translation
Covers Products: Vita 500
Vita 500 is a vitamin drink that is popular in South Korea, which is where the product is manufactured. Its key benefits are its 500mg of vitamin C (830% RDA) as well as B vitamins, which come inside a formulation that tastes somewhat like a non-carbonated cousin of an energy drink.
While the product’s success in its home country is presumably the reason behind it being imported here, it doesn’t feel like a product that will have its success transfer easily. We say that for a few reasons.
First and foremost, the main reason behind the product, delivering vitamin C, isn’t something that is an overly marketable benefit in the U.S. beverage market. Vitamin C is abundant in the food and beverage space in countless products; while products like Emergen-C have been used on occasion as an immunity booster, the use occasions for this product nevertheless seem a bit limited.
Second the flavor and ingredients work against the product. Using ace-k and sucralose, which are two artificial sweeteners, helps neither the flavor nor its ability to seem current. We’d say the same about the flavorings, which taste like a throwback to the early days of the energy drink category -- and its undeveloped, medicinal flavors.
Finally, there’s the packaging. While it’s effective at communicating the product’s functional benefits, it seems unnecessarily technical to the point of the product feeling somewhat intimidating.
Ultimately, we’re left feeling as though Vita 500 needs to decide between being an ethnic brand (it’s only likely shot in its current form) or better adapting to the beverage climate of the U.S. market. Otherwise, this seems like something that’s going to have a really hard time making a success of it.