Review: Fruit2O Essentials Cranberry Raspberry Water

Thirsty for something light, non-carbonated, and well, waterish? The folks at Fruit2O have a new lineup of nutrient-enhanced waters called Fruit2O Essentials. It’s basically fruit-flavored water combined with what they describe as “5 nutrients equal to 2 servings of fruit.” For this review, we take a look at Fruit2O Essentials Cranberry Raspberry.

Fruit2O Essentials Cranberry Raspberry Water

Fruit2O was created by the folks at Veryfine, maker of various juices, and originally owned by Kraft Foods. However, just a few years ago Veryfine and Fruit2O were sold to Sunny Delight Beverages Company, makers of… you guessed it, Sunny Delight! All these brands are based in Cincinnati, OH.

This Cranberry Raspberry flavor combination is pitched as “the tart zing of cranberry softened around the edged with just the right touch of raspberry sweetness.” Did you get all that? This series of drinks contain no calories, made possible by the use of artificial sweetener sucralose. While Fruit2O’s flagship brand is just flavored water, the Essentials line tries to get in on the “nutrient drink” train that seems popular with many beverage brands these days. Specifically with the Cranberry Raspberry flavor, the highlighted nutrients include manganese (80% of your recommended daily values, in fact), zinc, Vitamin E, phosphorus, and potassium. There are 6 total flavors in the Fruit2O Essentials line, each with differing selection and levels of nutrients.

The bottle design is very light, being transparent with a bubbled “barbell” shape of raised plastic ridges at the top and bottom. The label is printed on a transparent material that allows you to see into the bottle, noting the clear appearance of the water. Each flavor in the Essentials line features a different color cap that ties into the flavor type. This bottle of Cranberry Raspberry featured a purple/pink cap and color accent in the package design. After talking to Kristen Orr, who is a public relations representative for the brand, she noted that the package design was intentionally created to appeal to the female demographic, noting that “consumer feedback revealed that women wanted a bottle they could comfortably hold, fit well in a cup holder, and a mouth opening allowing them to sip the water, instead of “chug”” like with various competitor bottles.” This is also the reason that the water is clear instead of colored, given that research showed that customers wanted their water looking like, well, water!

So what does this stuff taste like? Well, you probably wouldn’t be surprised if I told you that it tasted watery, right? (That was a little beverage reviewer joke… you are supposed to laugh at this point!) Starting with the opening of the cap, you are greeted with a sweet, candy-like scent and hints at the berry infusion inside. This somewhat oversells, I think, because the flavor itself isn’t as strong as the scent.

The flavor is hard to pinpoint, actually. I know it says “Cranberry Raspberry” on the bottle, but I had a difficult time distinguishing either. Just tasted “berryish” to me. Granted, that’s not a bad thing, as the overall flavor experience of Fruit2O Essentials Cranberry Raspberry was actually pretty good. It’s light, sweet, and tasty. The primary drawback is the residue and aftertaste provided by the artificial sweetener. That’s the price you have the pay for no calories, I guess! If the use of sucralose doesn’t bother you, then I think you’ll like this nutrient water quite a bit. It actually reminded me a bit of Gatorade’s Propel line, though obviously marketed for more female-oriented, casual drinking vs. active, athletic lifestyles.

What’s inside? Here’s the ingredient list:

Fruit2O Essentials Cranberry Raspberry Water
Purified water, contains less than 2% of natural flavor, maltodextrin (fiber), potassium ascorbate (Vitamin C), manganese gluconate dihydrate (mineral), potassium chloride (electrolyte), potassium citrate (electrolyte), potassium pyruvate (electrolyte), Vitamin E succinate, zine lactate gluconate (mineral), calcium D-pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Vitamin B6, selenium chelate (mineral), citric acid, sucralose, sodium hexametaphosphate, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preserve freshness)

An 18 oz. bottle is 1 serving and features 0 calories, 105 mg of sodium, 350 mg of potassium, and 1g of fiber. The product is gluten free and caffeine free.

Fruit2O Essentials Cranberry Raspberry Water is a tasty entry in the nutrient-enhanced water category, though that’s a pretty crowded space these days. The flavor is subtle and full of berry taste, which produces a light sensation, though earmarked with the aftertaste of an artificial sweetener. However, at zero calories and an interesting collection of nutrients thrown it, it’s worth checking out if you are looking for more than just flavor in your water!

Full Disclosure: This beverage was provided compliments of Sunny Delight Beverages Company