You don’t typically associate Squirt with “energy” or “caffeine”. I mean, really, it’s just a citrus-flavored drink with a grapefruit influence, currently owned by Cadbury Schweppes. And for the most part, it’s unique and rather good. Even it’s sibling Ruby Red Squirt has favorable standing with us here at BevReview.com.
Well, it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy for Squirt. The soft drink takes it up a notch in attitude and content with the energy drink-crafted Squirt Citrus Power!
That’s what you get when you jack up the caffeine (9.1 mg/oz. vs. Mountain Dew at 4.5 mg/oz.), add in some taurine, and load up on Vitamins B3, B5, B6, and B12! Squirt Citrus Power seems to take a similar approach to Pepsi’s failed Mountain Dew MDX in that it’s leveraging an existing carbonated soft drink brand… and boosting it to be an energy drink. It’s even a riskier move for Squirt when you think that the original formula wasn’t exactly known for pep or caffeine. But there is some positives to this as well. For example, it doesn’t look like an energy drink… no 16 oz. tall can, use of additives or nutrients listed on the label, or crazy “extreme” branding. It’s basically, “Squirt… energized”, which I think comes out well in the labeling.
It by no means is innovative, but stays true to the Squirt brand. At the core of the grapefruit logo is the Squirt wordmark, with a small subheading of “Citrus Power”. This all sits on a black background with yellow lightning bolts streaking throughout, reinforcing the tagline at the top of the label: “Energized Refreshment”. The bottle is a standard green plastic, topped with black cap to match the label. The addition of “Naturally and Artificially Flavored” is the only other itemization you see on the main label panels. To most folks, this probably will seem like a “safe” drink, especially if they are a little turned off by the energy drink stigma. Whether that backfires is up for debate, however. I would think that it still stacks up against the likes of other citrus brands such as Sundrop, Fanta Citrus, while more loosely adding Mountain Dew, Vault, and even Amp or Full Throttle into the “we’re now competitors” mix.
A 20 oz. bottle (technically, 2.5 servings) packs 290 calories, 95 mg of sodium, and 74 g of sugars. A full ingredient list is as follows:
Squirt Citrus Power
Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, taurine, natural and artificial citrus flavor with other natural flavors, potassium citrate, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservatives), caffeine, modified corn starch, calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B5), ester gum, niacinamide (Vitamin B3), pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), calcium disodium EDTA, Yellow 5, cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)
As for the taste? Well, it’s a lot like Squirt, which is a good thing. There’s a slightly different, more salty aftertaste. In fact, there might be an completely different flavor the as you encounter the “finish” of the drink. It’s not bad, but it’s also not as smooth or expected given that the rest of the drink pretty much tastes like normal Squirt. I did notice quite a difference after drinking this beverage, however. Let’s just say that the energy drink effects kicked in!
Overall, I rather enjoyed Squirt Citrus Power. The increase in caffeine, addition of taurine and B vitamins, and unique grapefruit taste make this a nice addition to the energy drink market. The familiarity of the brand and obvious targeting at the casual beverage fan could be very positive for this flavor extension.