When it arrived in the mail, it looked exactly like something Victoria’s Secret would crank out… if they made a pink lemonade-flavored energy drink. Yes, I held in my hands a very pink can of Her Energy, not only a name defining the targeted demographic, but also an acronym representing “Healthy Energy Revitalizer”.
If you were watching the Indy 500 over Memorial Day weekend, you probably noticed the pink race car of Alex Lloyd, which was sponsored by Her Energy for the big race. It was pretty hard to miss!
But what is this Her Energy drink? Well, if you believe the marketing, it’s an energy drink targeted specifically at women. Instead of the single male market that most energy drinks are aimed at, Her is going after the female/teen side, with their targeted demographic of females 15-45.
It’s an interesting position, and given how the package I got as a sample featured a pink box with a 4-Pack of cans inside, all wrapped in pink and white tissue paper, I’d say they understand who they are going after. Her Energy argues that their research shows that women don’t want 12 or 16 oz. of energy drink, thus why they are shipping in the Red Bull-sized 8.4 oz. can.
They also differentiate their product by noting that it has less caffeine than the average energy drink, saying it has “about the amount found in a can of Coke”. For those keeping track, Coke has roughly 2.9 mg/oz. of caffeine, compared to Red Bull‘s 9.64 mg/oz. and Monster‘s 10.00 mg/oz. With such a small amount of caffeine, what makes this an energy drink? It does contain ginseng and taurine. In addition, catering to the female audience, it features calcium and antioxidants.
Her also comes in a diet version, which they label as “No Carbs/No Sugar”. This is sweetened by the standard combination of sucralose and acesulfame potassium (Ace-K). The regular version of Her Energy is sweetened by high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Another unique differentiator of Her Energy is their note that “5% of net proceeds will be donated to charity”. Taking a look at their official website, they’ve given to quite a few, including notable female-oriented organizations like The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundtation, Avon’s Run/Walk events, and The Nicole Brown Foundation which fights against domestic violence.
The cans are very attractive, with a clean, lowercase “Her” logo front and center. The regular version features white lettering on a pink can, while the sugar free version has pink lettering on a white can. The energy drink attributes are noted on the top portion of the can, wrapping completely around by listing ginseng, etc. At the bottom, front portion of each can, the flavor of “Pink Lemonade” is listed, with smaller type denoting Her’s dedication to give to charity.
Upon opening the can, you are greeted with a minor whiff of lemonade scent. I’d compare it to the smell you’d get from a mix of Crystal Light’s Pink Lemonade flavor. It’s not overpowering, just light enough to catch your interest.
The drink itself is light pink, not as dark as Cherry 7Up or Cherry 7Up Antioxidant. It’s also quite a bit lighter than Pomegranate 7Up or one of my personal favorites, Schweppes Raspberry Ginger Ale.
Upon that first sip, I must say that I was impressed with the taste. It’s bubbly, more on a side of a ginger ale or lemon lime drink. The pink lemonade flavor is not tart, but rather sweet. The flavor doesn’t had a negative aftertaste, and is clean enough to compliment food well. It’s not a super strong pink lemonade flavor, but I don’t think it needs to be. It fits in perfectly with the positioning of a lighter, more gentle energy drink. While it’s not targeted at my demographic, if given the opportunity, I’d definitely try Her Energy again.
Here are the ingredients for the regular version:
Water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, taurine, sodium citrate, D-glucuronolactone, gum arabic, sodium benzoate, ascorbic acid, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, natural and artificial flavors, inositol, choline bitartrate, caffeine, glyceryl abietate, niacinamide, brominated vegetable oils, EDTA, panthothenic acid, pyrisoxine hydrochloride, ginseng, FD&C Red #40, potassium sorbate, cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)
A 8.4 oz. can of Her Energy regular will cost you 130 calories, 95 mg of sodium, 32 g of carbs, including 31 g of sugars.
The same visual attributes apply for the No Carbs/No Sugar version of Her Energy. Unfortunately, I wish the same taste applied. Like most diet beverages, this one suffers from the aftertaste associated with sucralose and Ace-K. It’s very dietish. That odd taste is experienced during the main part of the drink itself, and also in the finish. My palette is personally not too fascinated by diet beverages, so if you are more accustomed to them, your experience may vary.
Here are the ingredients for the sugar free version:
Her Energy No Carbs/No Sugar
Water, citric acid, taurine, sodium citrate, D-glucuronolactone, gum arabic, sodium benzoate, ascorbic acid, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, natural and artificial flavors, inositol, choline bitartrate, caffeine, glyceryl abietate, niacinamide, brominated vegetable oils, EDTA, panthothenic acid, pyrisoxine hydrochloride, ginseng, FD&C Red #40, potassium sorbate, cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)
A 8.4 oz. can of Her Energy No Carbs/No Sugar contains 0 calories, 95 mg of sodium, and 0 g of carbs.
If there are any drawbacks about the Her Energy experience, it may be that it doesn’t look like an energy drink, other than the can size. This may hurt or help the product’s targeted market, but may also add confusion when trying to answer the question, “so what’s so special about this drink?” The premium pricepoint of roughly $2 a can might also turn customers away from this unproven product in the marketplace, especially when a can is only 8.4 oz.
Overall, the flavor of Her Energy drink is excellent. Pink Lemonade is a good choice for a beverage aimed at the female market, and the branding and product positioning seem solid. The sugar free version isn’t as great tasting as regular, and the premium pricing may scare away those interested in the concept. However, those that do try Her Energy probably will not be disappointed in the taste experience.