Review: Aqua Probiotic Seltzer
May 11, 2022
Aqua ViTea Kombucha
Covers Products: Cucumber + Mint (2022), Grapefruit + Thyme (2022), Pomegranate + Cherry (2022), Raspberry + Lime (2022)
Produced by Vermont-based kombucha brewer Aqua ViTea, Aqua Probiotic Seltzer is a recently launched line of flavored sparkling waters that are infused with the company’s organic kombucha. This line is the company’s answer to the growing number of shelf-stable sparkling line extensions that have recently emerged from the kombucha category. Aqua Probiotic Seltzer comes in four flavors and contains 15 calories and 1 gram of sugar per 12 ounce can. These flavors include Grapefruit + Thyme, Cucumber + Mint, Pomegranate + Cherry, and Raspberry + Lime, all of which feature organic fruit flavorings in addition to organic kombucha as one of its key ingredients. Shelf stable probiotics have also been added. When it comes to flavor, each of the four varieties are light and crisp and generally on par with other products in the flavored sparkling water category. There is a hint of sweetness to the products, but it’s extremely subtle. The kombucha adds a slight tang, but it quickly subsides as you taste the added flavors. That being said, we think that even consumers who expressly do not like kombucha would probably enjoy the taste of this product. We liked all four flavors but our favorites were definitely Grapefruit + Thyme and Cucumber + Mint – both had slightly more accurate flavors and had the advantage of not being naturally sweet. On the functional side of things, the addition of probiotics is certainly a marketable way to differentiate from many of the companies that are in the sparkling flavored water category. Actively marketing the product as being infused with organic kombucha is also a good way to make clear that the product features quality ingredients. However, we wonder if the use and promotion of kombucha will help or hurt. We feel as though the argument that it might limit the brand’s audience to just kombucha drinkers is as valid as saying that this will help the brand and give it an advantage in terms of authenticity. When it comes to packaging, Aqua Probiotic Seltzer’s 12 ounce can definitely looks the part of the sparkling water category. The words “Aqua” and “Seltzer” are the most dominant elements on the front of the can while a graphic of the hero ingredients and the flavor name (located below the graphic) catch your attention next. The word “probiotic” sits in between Aqua and Seltzer while the text “infused with organic kombucha” is below the logo. This text is rather small and could be easy to miss against the larger and more eye-catching elements. While the design is aesthetically pleasing, we think that the front-of-can callouts for calories and sugar content would be helpful. After all, these are two of the most important attributes of any beverage and an area in which this brand excels. Overall, we feel that this product’s packaging is more than market ready. Aqua Probiotic Seltzer represents a big opportunity for Aqua ViTea to go beyond the kombucha category and into a shelf stable set.