In February, we looked at the inaugural flavor in the ViB (“Vacation in a Bottle”) lineup, ViB Pomegranate Berry. A new flavor has been released, and we’re giving it the BevReview.com analysis… meet ViB Mango Lime!
One of my biggest criticisms of ViB when we first reviewed it is that instead of coming in a namesake bottle, it arrived in a can. The folks at ViB later informed me that the can packaging was temporary. ViB Mango Lime arrives in a unique 12 oz. aluminum bottle that sets it apart from others in the growing “relaxation” beverage category.
Upon opening the bottle, you are greeted by a light citrusy smell. It’s not very strong, but you do get a sense of lemon/lime inside. The drink itself is clear with a light red/orange tint. You definitely get the feeling that this is being pitched as “light refreshment.”
The flavor itself is actually very refreshing, especially if you partake from a nicely chilled aluminum bottle. There’s a crispness there in the experience. Kudos again on the package shape. We’re seeing more soft drinks and alcoholic beverages adopt the aluminum bottle approach, and I like it. This sparkling drink doesn’t have a fruity flavor, rather it’s more just a bubbly drink with a light touch of lime. Despite the “Mango Lime” flavor labeling, I couldn’t say that I was able to detect much in the way of mango. That said, the flavor overall wasn’t very distinctive. In this case, I’m not pitching that as a negative. Rather, it’s not like when you grab an orange soda or a root beer and go “yeah, that’s orange” or “yup, it’s root beer!” In this case, it’s just a light, lime-ish drink that does seem rather refreshing.
Uniquely, in order to keep the calories down, this ViB Mango Lime is sweetened not only with cane sugar, but also the artificial sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame potassium (Ace-K). This produces a 12 oz. bottle that has 60 calories.
ViB Mango Lime is also branded as “The Happy Relaxation Drink.” We’ve been taking a look at this growing sub-genre recently, namely with our reviews of Drank and Drank Deuce, along with other beverages that throw in elements that aim to provide other nutritional benefits, such as Jones GABA Fuji Apple Tea Juice and Fruit2O Essentials Cranberry Raspberry Water. To set Mango Lime apart from the pack, you’ll find that B-Vitamins have been added along with amino acids (L-theanine and L-threonine). The company claims that these additions will help you relieve stress and “make you feel happy.”
What else is in this drink? Let’s take a look at the ingredients:
ViB Mango Lime
Carbonated water, cane sugar, natural flavors, citric acid, potassium benzoate, potassium citrate, potassium sorbate, L-theanine, L-threonine, maltodextrin, lycii berry extract, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, niacin (Vitamin B3), pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), FD&C Red 40, cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)
A full 12 oz. bottle has 60 calories, 15 of carbohydrates consisting of 15 g of sugars, 0 mg of sodium, and 0 g of protein.
Even with the use of artificial sweeteners (which aren’t too noticeable), I have to admit that I liked the taste of ViB Mango Lime. It’s light, it’s refreshing, it’s different. In my opinion, it’s far superior in taste to ViB Pomegranate Berry. While Pomegranate Berry tastes a little too artificial in flavor, Mango Lime feels just about right in taste.
If there is a negative I have to mention regarding the ViB lineup (and I’ve mentioned this before), it’s the amazingly horrible package design. Please ViB, whoever is doing your label branding and concepting work, please fire them now! It looks amateurish, like an intern was given 10 minutes to find a beach scene image via iStockPhoto.com, slapped a prefab logo on the front, and forgot the first rules of brand identity, flavor identification, or how to best stick out in the marketplace.
As I’ve mentioned in this review, ViB Mango Lime is actually a tasty drink, but there is no way I would have picked it up on store shelves with the way it currently looks. The aluminum bottle is a nice distinction, but it’s completely lost with the overtly busy label wrap. On top of that, there’s no easy way to tell the flavor differences between Mango Lime and the original Pomegranate Berry. The bottles just feature beach scenes and only if you read clearly the flavor description text (which is in different locations on each flavor) do you know what you are in for. This is unacceptable. Don’t hurt the future growth of this product just because you cut a few corners in the design/branding department. Clean that up, and I think you’ve got something to be proud of here!