EVERYTHING
NOT
BEER
Even we beer lovers are sometimes
forced to drink something other than
beer. As a public service to beer lovers
everywhere BeerNexus presents the only
monthly column of reviews you'll ever see
on a beer website about
everything not beer!
Blending cranberry and pomegranate with the subtle earthy flavor of
yerba mate, Guayaki’s “Cranberry Pomegranate” flavored Sparkling
Yerba Mate is a very palatable and mainstream-oriented beverage. The
flavor is sweet (they use cane sugar), but not overbearing, while the fruit
flavorings impart a raspberry like flavor. Being so close to this ubiquitous
tea flavor is a very smart move, with the carbonation being the only
element to this tea beverage that is going to be new to the consumer.
Plus, we think that the natural caffeine content (80mg per can) gives this
product a nice opportunity to grab consumers from the energy drink
category. Visually, the 12 oz. can has a very clean, professional look,
but it lacks the playfulness that Guayaki has given to its other products.
We would only really see this being an issue when it’s right next to their
other products as they will likely catch the eye quicker. Overall, a very
enjoyable product from Guayaki.
Reviews for May, 2012
Based on its flavor and branding, Zingi Well’s “Java Turmeric Lemon” is
clearly geared towards the natural channel. The formulation of the drink
is fairly simple, with water, java turmeric, cane juice, ginger extract, and
lemon extract. However, it lacks depth and balance, which is likely the
result of using lemon extract rather than juice. That said, the product has
a pretty weak flavored, watery feeling, with the main flavor ultimately that
of the cane juice (it tastes like a sugar flavored beverage with a splash of
lemon and spice). The health benefits that the drink claims to provide
come from the turmeric and ginger extract, but we cannot say how this
compares with alternative means of ingesting these ingredients. Visually,
the product has a lot of room for improvement, with a busy label that is
not overly appealing or appetizing since it’s so heavily focused on the
health aspects. Java turmeric and “Zingi Well” are difficult to say, so
simplification is suggested. Overall, this seems like a product that is too
narrowly focused both in flavor and branding.
edited by Jim Attacap
We've seen a lot of energy products in our day that claim instant energy,
but fail to deliver. So, when seeing 2Nitro2Go's "Instant Energy," we were
certainly curious to see how it would work. Using a sugar free formulation
that's loaded with B vitamins and a decent hit of caffeine, the product
delivered a nice boost of energy, even when consuming only half of the
product's 2 fl oz package. We didn't feel the "niacin flush" that's listed on
the side of the bottle, but we don't think that is an overly important
function of the drink. Taste is medicinal, but bearable, and has a slight
note of berry and artificial sweetener to it. Packaging has a busy look
and text is hard to read (small font size and warped wrap labeling), but
the bold "INSTANT ENERGY" is prominent and catches the eye. Overall,
great performance and decent packaging.
CocoZona “Espresso” is a blend of coconut water from concentrate, coffee,
natural flavor, and natural caffeine (50mg per bottle). Unlike the other
coffee enhanced coconut water beverages that are on the market today,
this one is not trying to recreate a latte-like flavor. That said, the blend of
coconut water and coffee that they have created is a completely different
experience. The two flavors are relatively equal in terms of their presence
in this drink, which makes it a very refreshing beverage while also hiding
the bitterness of the coffee. However, it means that there likely isn’t that
much coffee in the drink, which is probably why they have added caffeine to
it. Beyond that, the flavor of the coffee could definitely be improved to taste
more like brewed coffee. And for something calling itself “Espresso,” we
would expect a bolder coffee note. On the outside, the 14.5 oz. packaging
looks like the rest of the CocoZona line. While the label uses the tropical
beach motif that is synonymous with the coconut water category, the use of
an aluminum bottle definitely sets this drink apart from its competition.
Despite having an image of a cup of espresso and mentioning espresso
multiple times, it still feels as though one could miss that this is a coffee
flavored drink. This is likely the result of the full wrap label and the vibrant
colors that are used in the drink’s branding. Overall, an improved and more
more memorable effort over the flagship CocoZona product. If there is any
room for improvement, giving the coffee more pop in both flavor and visual
presence are the places to start.