PartySugar and I don't always agree, for example, she's not a fan of pre-flavored water (preferring to flavor it herself), whereas I sometimes enjoy the convenience of buying pre-flavored water. So when we saw bottle after bottle of flavored or "enhanced" water at the Fancy Food show, she was definitely more skeptical than I. Yet, after the first few booths, my skepticism was almost as high as hers. It seemed like everyone is getting into the "enhanced water" business. And, if they weren't doing enhanced water, then they were marketing soda to adults. Either way, we drank a lot of beverages. Some of them were good, others not so much.
One of the more interesting waters was Nature 101's (a subsidiary of Sugar Bowl Bakery "Vitamin+Fiber Water." I tasted both the guava and the peach flavor and was pleasantly surprised. I also sort of knew what I was getting into since the "80mg of Invisible Dietary Fiber" looked (and tasted) like a lot of Asian jelly drinks, except that the fibers were clear and chopped up to be really tiny. It looks and seems like a sports drink, but beware, there are 120 calories per bottle, so it's not like it has the same caloric content as water. Since I am pretty familiar with Asian jelly drinks, I wasn't that surprised. PartySugar, on the other hand, didn't know what she was getting into. She "liked the magical invisible aspect of it," but it still didn't win her over. It's a new product with limited distribution at the moment, but if you can find it, I'd say it's at least worth a try.
To check out more "enhanced waters," as well as sodas made for grownups, read more
Along with the fiber water, we tried a myriad of waters, including:
- Hint - Their motto is drink water, not sugar - with no artificial sweeteners or preservatives, it's nice and clean with just a "hint" of flavor.
- Function - Okay, so this one is actually more like juice or gatorade than water, but I still thought it was interesting. Developed by physicians, each flavor is intended to perform a health boosting function.
- Metromint - In addition to their peppermint and spearmint water, they now have orangemint and lemonmint. I enjoyed the lemonmint, but the orange was just so-so (in fact, I actually saw people give back their bottles of orange).
- Michele's Extreme Water - I got to take a bottle of this home, and I'm not exactly sure why or how it's "extreme."
- O Water - Fruit flavored water available in both infused and regular versions. The infused contains electrolytes, antioxidants, etc., whereas the regular just contains a hint of fruit.
- Purity from Iceland Glacial - No enhancements here, just pure water from Iceland. I personally heart Iceland, so I might be a little biased about this one. You should be able to find it in Target stores.
- Hi-ball energy - Although marketed as mixers, these drinks are really flavored, carbonated water infused with taurine for energy.
- Contrex - This natural mineral water is high calcium, magnesium and other minerals. The taste was a bit, well, "mineral-y" but not bad. It's being marketed as a great source of calcium for women.
Along with the fascinating water trend, I also noticed a high number of sparkling non-alcoholic (ie: sodas) marketed to adults. Last week I wrote about my favorite one (Vignette), but here are a few others you might be interested in:
- GUS - I love the fact that their company is actually an acronym for "Grown-Up Soda). Their product was created with adult palates in mind and is less sweet than other flavored sodas. It's a little bit like flavored sparkling water, but obviously more "soda-y."
- Rush - I still don't understand how something that is ultimately just cola can be marketed as "Delicious. Natural. Healthful," but hey, it's made with real ginseng, so it must be healthy.
- Ramune - This Japanese soda has a unique package where once opened, the marble will act as a lid, to help preserve the carbonation longer.
- Steaz - A lightly carbonated healthy soda, this time it's made from green tea and so promises all the same health benefits as a cup of green tea.
- Cabernet de Bordeaux - Organic sparkling juices from france. Sort of like Vignette, but made with the grapes from Bordeaux. I personally enjoyed Vignette's flavor, but these were also nice.
- Izze - I already enjoyed Izze before seeing it at the show, it's a nice "sparkling juice" that contains no refined sugar. For some reason we also picked up the blueberry, it's a great, unique flavor.
To view some of the products listed above, click on one of the images below: