Review: Zola Organic Hydrating Energy
Covers Products: Acai Berry, Dragon Fruit, Matcha Green Tea, Pineapple Coconut
Earlier this year, Zola announced “Zola 2.0,” which featured new ownership and a plan for to restage both its packaging and a broader line of products. The recently announced Zola Hydrating Energy line is the company’s first new offering since this announcement.
Launching in four flavors, Matcha Green Tea, Dragon Fruit, Acai Berry, and Pineapple Coconut, Zola Hydrating Energy utilizes coconut water, natural caffeine (extracted from coffee beans), and cane sugar in all of the formulations. Each can contains 120mg of caffeine and 230-240mg of potassium along with 90-110 calories and 20-23g of sugar.
From a taste perspective, these products are all quite palatable. They are relatively sweet (they are, after all, full calorie products) and tart, while the added coconut water seems to give the products a slightly tangy note to the finish. In our taste test, we found the slightly less fruity flavor of the Matcha Green Tea to be most “traditional” as far as organic/natural energy drinks go and we really enjoyed the combination of the coconut water and matcha flavors. As for the fruit offerings, Pineapple and Coconut was our favorite, with a very pleasing tropical taste. The two flavors paired nicely together. The last two, Dragon Fruit and Acai Berry, are pleasant tasting but a bit too similar to one another.
On the outside, the product utilizes a 12 oz. slim can that features a white background. It’s busy, but nicely arranged with all of the elements cleanly stacked on the front of the can. The vibe is definitely that of a “clean” or “better for you” product, especially with the prime placement of the USDA Organic logo.
Lastly, there’s the Zola brand. With its “2.0” redesign, the logo has a modern but slightly exotic look. It’s clean and appealing to the eye, but it doesn’t speak to some specific competency or benefit that might make a Zola energy drink credible or better than the competition. That said, it seems like the success of this line is very much contingent on Zola’s ability to develop their entire suite of “Zola 2.0” products.
But for this particular line, gaining credibility and shelf space in the energy set is the immediate target. For that, the product largely hangs its hat on being organic and, to a lesser extent, having the added benefit of hydration. That said, we wonder if Zola shouldn’t call out the benefits and functionality a bit more prominently than leaving them on the side of the can.
All in all, Zola’s Hydrating Energy Drink line is a nice line extension for the brand and the natural energy drink segment. While it’s hard to say how much it offers in the way of category innovation, it’s a well-executed offering that’s definitely on trend and can keep up with other full calorie offerings.