Review: Zest Tea Delivers "High Octane Tea"
Covers Products: Sparkling Citrus Hibiscus, Sparkling Masala Chai, Sparkling Pomito Lime
Zest Tea is a line of sparkling “high octane teas” that are positioned as having high caffeine content (150mg from green tea extract) and being relatively low in calories (25-35 per can).
Available in three flavors, including Sparkling Pomito Lime, Sparkling Citrus Hibiscus, and Sparkling Masala Chai, Zest Tea drinks a lot like a tea-flavored energy drink. There’s some mild bite to it, which might be from the stevia, monk fruit, and/or added B vitamins.
Otherwise, all three have a pretty similar base flavor profile that we’d describe as being slightly sweet (there’s 5g of sugar in addition to the stevia and monk fruit), having light tea flavor, and a bit of fruit at the finish. However, the differences between the three are really nuances, especially in that the flavor of the tea or the specific fruit flavor is somewhat hard to distinguish amongst the other ingredients in the drink.
Still, we think Zest Tea is pretty palatable, especially when compared with energy drinks or other low calorie sparkling options. And for having 150mg of caffeine, as well as B vitamins and amino acids, it certainly is a viable alternative in terms of functionality as well.
Visually, Zest Tea, which comes in a 12 oz. slimcan with a glossy sleeve label, looks pretty sharp. They’ve paired a dark background with bright accent colors, which skews the product more towards the functional or energy set than the tea category. Otherwise, the label is clean, easy to read, and nicely arranged, resulting in something that looks clean and credible.
Our last point on Zest Tea is regarding their approach to the positioning and messaging, which has it looking (and tasting) like an energy drink but referring to itself as a tea. This could lead to some challenges for the brand, especially when it comes to where and how it is sold at retail.
Still, we think that Zest Tea has done a nice job of creating something that has a positive and inviting look to it while also offering functionality (energy!) that consumers can understand. Yes, there’s room for improvement, but for an upstart brand Zest Tea feels like it’s at a pretty good starting point.