Review: Yayaya Yaupon Tea
Covers Products: Bright Brain, Oooooh YA, Peaceful Power, Sunny & Sweet
Yayaya is a recently launched line of beverages made with yaupon, which is, unlike traditional tea, an ingredient that is grown in North America. The brand has launched with six functional flavors that are packaged in 14 oz glass bottles.
For the purposes of this review, we’re taking a look at four of the six SKUs, including Oooooh Ya (unsweetened), Sunny & Sweet, Bright Brain, and Peaceful Power. The latter three offerings are lightly sweetened, with 30 calories and 8 g of sugar (per bottle) in both Bright Brain and Peaceful Power. Meanwhile, Sunny & Sweet has 45 calories and 11 g of sugar.
We found all four of these products to be quite pleasing to our palate. This starts with the base of yaupon, which we’d describe as tasting like a mild black tea paired with yerba mate. Oooooh Ya, which is simply a blend of yaupon and lemon juice (2%), is the most unadulterated offering and the best showcase of the ingredient. Peaceful Power adds honey, peppermint, and several other ingredients (hawthorn berry, oatstraw, nettles) that don’t impact the flavor. Bright Brain has rhodiola, honey, and rose, giving it a floral finish. Finally, there’s Sunny & Sweet, which is made with yaupon and honey and drinks like a very mild Southern sweet tea.
Ultimately, the flavor profiles the company has created are pretty interchangeable with traditional tea drinks. This is both good and bad; if a consumer likes tea they’ll probably enjoy Yayaya, but, on the other hand, it lacks the kind of unique or meaningful differentiation that might build a loyal consumer base.
On the outside, Yayaya has done a nice job of creating something that is visually appealing. This starts with the vibrant and polished looking labels that feature a unique background color for each flavor. “YAYAYA” is repeated over on the label and the word is in white in the center of the label. The tagline “an elevated vibe” sounds nice, but doesn’t really give the consumer any info about what the product is.
This trend continues as you read the copy on the lower portion of the label. There you’ll find ingredients, a callout for “Wild Harvested” in North America, and the flavor name. Unless the consumer is already educated about yaupon, which they probably aren’t, they will have to turn to the back label and read the copy on there to really get the essence of the product..
To that end, we think that Yayaya needs to be a bit more direct in communicating that this product is a tea alternative and one with similar benefits. Furthermore, the naming convention used on the product needs refinement. Aside from “Sunny & Sweet,” the names aren’t overly descriptive about what’s in the bottle and we think skew a bit too much towards the functional end of the spectrum.
Overall, this is a good first effort for Yayaya. They’ve created mainstream flavors and some nice visuals -- and now it’s time to refine and better tell the brand’s story and points of differentiation in a way that the consumer can quickly digest.