Review: Bing Energy Drink


While attending the 2010 National Restaurant Association show here in Chicago, I had the chance to chat with Lamont Seckman, the Owner & CEO of Inspiration Beverage out of Denver, CO… the company behind Petey's Bing Energy Drink. While providing me with a sample of his beverage, he also explained what he felt was different about Bing vs. other energy drink offerings on the market today.

Bing gets its name from the use of bing cherries and not the Microsoft-owned search engine formerly known by a bunch of unmemorable names like Live Search, Windows Live Search, and MSN Search. In fact, Bing includes 5% cherry juice in its formula, which would explain the emphasis on red in the packaging color scheme.

Bing comes in 12 oz. slim cans packaged in 4-Packs. The can design features a dark red color with a black "B" logo that contains a cherry-shaped outline. The pitch on the front of the can notes that this is a "delicious energizing beverage with Ginkgo Biloba, Ginseng, and Vitamin C."

It's also only 40 calories per 12 oz. can. How do they pull that off? Well, even though the sweetener is cane sugar, it's complimented by the one-two punch of sucralose and acesulfame potassium (Ace-K) as artificial sweeteners (though the marketing materials claim that there is less than 0.02% of sucrolose content).


Bing CEO Lamont Seckman

In talking with Mr. Seckman, he mentioned that the inclusion of the artificial sweeteners to cut down on the calorie count was intentional to broaden the appeal of the drink. Bing is being positioned not against the likes of Red Bull and other energy drinks. Rather, it's going up against standard soft drinks, while also walking that line between full-calorie and sugar-free. Thankfully, it does seem to succeed better than other hybrids we've seen in years past such as Coke C2 and Pepsi Edge.

By being cherry-flavored, Bing is hoping to be more demographically appealing to a broader audience, especially females. Traditionally, energy drinks tend to skew towards young males with cash to burn. The lower calorie count, use of real juice, inclusion of various nutrients, and natural colors/flavors also are being aimed at the more "health conscious" energy drink-type customer.

Upon opening a can, you are greeted with a tart cherry scent, thus supporting the branding of the beverage. Bing possesses a very sweet, cherry flavor that is quite a break from what you'd come to expect from an energy drink. The dark-but-translucent red color of the beverage reminds me of something you'd see in a Jones Soda bottle. The initial "wow" of cherry flavor is quite refreshing if the drink is chilled well.

We did detect that "artificial sweetener aftertaste" with the drink. If you are used to low- or no-calorie soft drinks, this should not be an issue. However, if you are more adverse to the sucralose/Ace-K combo, this might turn you off. Consistent with other energy drinks, there's a bit of syrupy flavor combined with what we assume are the supplements packed into the beverage, producing an expected taste for the genre. Speaking of what's inside, let's take a closer look, shall we?

Bing Energy Drink
Water, dark cherry juice (from concentrate), cane sugar, natural flavors, citric acid, grape skin extract (color), potassium sorbate (preservative and potassium source), sodium benzoate (preservative), sucralose, acesulfame potassium

As previously mentioned, a 12 oz. can contains 40 calories. It also features 10 g of carbs (10 of which are sugars), 20 mg of sodium, 60 mg of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), 1.7 mg of riboflaven (Vitamin B2), 20 mg of niacin (niacinamide), 2 mg of pyridoxine HCl (Vitamin B6), 6 mcg of cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12), and 10 mg of d-calcium pantothenate (pantothenic acid). Caffeine is 10 mg/oz.

As far as your added energy drink-oriented supplements, they include 1000 mg of taurine, 100 mg ginkgo biloba left extract, 100 mg ginseng root extract, 100 mg beta-glucan, 10 mg guarana seed extract, 0.01 mg acai berry extract, and 0.01 mg of flax seed extract.

Being both beverage connoisseurs and Web enthusiasts, if there is anything we'd advise the folks at Bing, it would probably be in their positioning on the Internet. It's got to be a challenge to maintain any easy search engine ranking now that they share a name with a Microsoft property (in the drink's defense, it came first!)

The promotional materials point to no less than 3 web addresses for the product (getbinged.com, bingenergydrink.net, and bingme.net — all which point to the same location), which is rather confusing when you want to share information. As for the official site, it's loaded with images and Flash objects that make it really hard to read, very difficult for search engines to index, and seem to bring into question the target market. On the social media front, an associated MySpace page reflects the drink's usage in bars as a mixer. We like the drink, but if we were to tell a friend about it by providing them a web link, it probably would be hard to take the marketing seriously. The Internet is probably low on the radar of a brand trying to establish itself, but perception goes a long way. Getting involved with Facebook and Twitter would be very low-cost venues to spread the word.

Overall, I really liked the refreshing cherry taste of Bing. It's the type of drink that you wish more folks knew about because of the unique approach it takes on the energy drink category. It's not "scary" like the marketing of a lot of energy beverages, which are very in-your-face and alienate anyone not in the targeted demographic. While I'm not totally sold on the artificial sweetener-influenced aftertaste, it's rather hard to argue with just 40 calories per can!

Official Website: BingEnergyDrink.com

Full Disclosure: This beverage was provided compliments of Inspiration Beverage

Comments

  1. interesting. good job

  2. Bing isn't that good. It is a One-Shot-One-Kill Energy Drink. The 1st swallow taste good (if it is Ice Cold), then the rest of the can gives off a bad aftertaste & sucks the saliva right out of your mouth. The taste isn't consistent throughout the can. This Energy drink overall is not very good.

  3. @bing: Hence the reson nobody knows about the drink.

  4. I really like Bing. I think it has a refreshing flavor for 40 little calories, it gives me energy without bouncing off the roof. I dislike the taste of most energy drinks, and despite being the primary target demo (=female!) my 19-year old son loves it, too! at a buck-fifty (on sale Smiths Food King stores) it is well-priced against the competition.

  5. Arnette says:

    I love this drink!

  6. Beverly G says:

    I have been drinking Bing for a while and I love it. I like the cherry taste, it only has 40 calories, it is an energizing drink, and it taste good. IMO anybody who has dranked diet sodas wouldn't have a problem with the after taste.

  7. tried bing today at a food show and loved it but wasn't crazy about the price!

  8. IHCBINDER says:

    I like the overall product, taste, packaging and contents. I need food products low in sugar and high in vitamins and minerals, such as a diabetic. Problem, I'm 800 miles from the vitamin shoppe where a friend sent me to get it, while visiting the friend. The Bing cherry juice is a big plus due to my gout medical problem(it lowers uric acid levels in the blood). I could live without the caffeine, but I know others like the buzz. Thanks, IHCBINDER

  9. I am in love with BING! Found it for the first time at a Publix grocery store in Atlanta. Decided to try it for several reasons: 1) The red & black packaging definitely caught my eye, 2) the 40 calories sold me, since I'm always looking for low-cal, low-sugar energy drinks and 3) the taste is what has me RAVING!!! Though I wasn't really happy about the price (I think they need to lower it to be competitive with the "Red Bulls" and "Monsters", especially since it's still unknown), love the flavor and the low-cal benefit! Now all they need to do is work on the marketing and make it accessible. This stuff will sell…

  10. Heather says:

    I really like Bing! I was concerned that it would be overpowering and syrupy, or like cough syrup – but I find it to be light and refreshing. The lift you get from the "energy" components is not overpowering and I agree with Beverly G – if you prefer diet drinks anyway, there isn't an aftertaste at all. Drinks that aren't "diet" leave me with a film on my mouth. (yuck.) I prefer this crisp taste. It is a treat I give myself on the way to work!

  11. Bing has a very good taste.. ive tried many of energy drink but this is very good…

  12. bing is me and my mothers favorite drink. i still am young but i love bing. people say its not healthy but it is. ive drank a bing for months now and i have such a craving for it. it may not be something for energy but it makes you crave for more. when we go racing we have a bing. me and my mom are called bing bats because we never really went to the races or got through this week without at least one bing. i love bings as they give me happiness when i buy one and take a drink. when i go to school i bet i will at least bring a bing with me. i love bing and i serve the person who came up with them. mmmmmmmmmmmmmhhmmmmmmmmmmm. :p

  13. hi,

    question,i normally have a nervous enengry,mild high blood pressure.WHAT'S in this Bing drink that causes me to relax ???? I tried one yesterday 8-16-2011 and one today.For some reason I feel relax.Which is what I really need.It actually settled my nerves.I can feel it from head to toe.I'm wondering if you could name the one element that might cause this feeling?It really helps….So far I really like the drink. Thanks

  14. I was in a supermarket i only go in once in a while. I spoted this pretty red can. I drink a engery drink every know and again. I tried Bing I like it. I am going back for more. I like the tast. I have never seen this drink any where else.

  15. I like this drink! I was asked to try it and and give a review.It is better than any of the others that I have tried!

  16. I've had a Bing or two a day for over a year now. I love it. I am disappointed it's so hard to find in the midwest though. I take a room temperature can, put it in the freezer right in front of the air vent, set the timer for 23 minutes, then I'm good to go. I find that it's best right at the point of freezing. If you put it to your ear you can move the can and hear the ice in it. Once it's mostly ice free, I open it up and sip the whole can. It usually takes about 15 minutes. It is the best 15 minutes of my day by far. I have one in the freezer right now! I feel so gay now that women are it's target audience. I'd like to pay less than $2 a can for it though.

  17. The first drink was good, but after that the aftertaste was awful. And I drink only diet drinks so it cant just be the sweetener. I was really excited to try it. if I drink it slowly its not to terrible.

  18. Heather D. says:

    Marcus – That would most likely be the Ginseng Root extract. Ginseng is a known muscle relaxer.

    I'm not a fan of diet drinks at all and yet, this goes down easy without feeling heavy or driving me up the walls with the excessive sugar. The low salt content is also great alternative for those with high blood pressure.

  19. kenneth t says:

    Another imitation red bull!!

  20. This BING, what a great refreshing idea. The drink is great all the way around. I wish I could still find it. Fry's grocery in Phoenix AZ. doesn't have it anymore.

  21. foozlesprite says:

    I live in Arkansas and the only place I've seen it here is at Harp's Food Stores. They're usually on sale for $1 per can, which is a great deal. My husband and I work night shift while I'm attending college during the days/evenings, so I get a bit less sleep than I'd like. Bings give me a nice pick-me-up, and they're also great for him as a Type I diabetic, since they don't wreak havoc with his blood sugar. I rate them very highly!

  22. I found this page by searching for more information on Bing. I saw it in a local grocery store a few months ago and since I drink a lot of diet pop I figured I'd give this a try being only 40 calories. It's FANTASTIC! It is the only energy drink I've had that doesn't taste like sh*t. I've been hooked since then and have one every day. It has to be cold though. It's $1.29 a can and I'm searching online to see if I can find it cheaper since that's quite a bit more than going the diet pop route. It's far better so I might just have to shell out the extra cash and deal with it. GET BINGED!!

  23. connie says:

    i just discovered BING and I love it==it tastes good and it gives me enough energy for my work-out at the gym. i have tried plenty of others and Bing is, by far, my favorite!

  24. I saw Bing first advertised on the show How it's Made and was really excited to try it, as my husband works endless hours and now has started taking some classes also. My Husband also has familiar tremors. So he watches how much caffiene he takes in, as it only makes it worse. We were lucky enough to find a few cans of the Bing at a store and I bought them. Now I have not been able to find them anywhere. Live in Lansing, Michigan any ideas who may carry it so I can purchase some.

  25. I love Bing. It's so good. Just wish it was easier to come by in Nebraska. Only a handful of stores.

  26. I have been drinking bing almost daily for about 5 years and I find the taste delicious. I agree with previous posts regarding the temperature. It does have to be really cold to be the best enjoyed. I have a mug that once frozen would keep things cold for a longer period of time. I have two. I alternate over a period of an hour while getting ready for work since I like to savor my bing. besides that, Bing is the best tasting energy drink that I have found. kudos to bing…. just make it cheaper or give us coupons ever so often.

  27. Where can you buy bing? I live in NJ?

  28. Is this appropriate for children or is it an adult drink?

  29. I like Bing and bought a 24-pack from the Internet. The only downside is the artificial sweetener, which really dehydrates and leaves a diet-soda taste in my mouth. I wouldn't mind a more natural version that had more calories, as I track my calorie intake. I probably won't order it again, but it does taste pretty good – it's the artificial sweetener that is the turn-off.

  30. Just tried this drink today. I've just had one and I have to say, I will be buying it again. This drink gave me a real nice energy buzz but without the nervousness and crash. And I don't usually get a buzz from energy drinks anymore because I am so used to constantly drinking coffee, red bull, etc. I don't know what's in this stuff but OMG I'm still high right now. Wow. As for the taste: lets get real, nobody drinks energy drinks for the taste. I do like that it's only 40 calories. I'm a male in my 30's now so the metabolism has slowed down, so low calorie is good. Also like that it has not just B vitamins but also Vitamin C, unlike other energy drinks.

  31. Finally a GOOD tasting energy drink with vitamins! Most of the ones on the market taste so artificial, which they probably are. This one tastes natural and never leaves me feeling jittery. An added bonus, it comes in cherry, my favorite. You can never find cherry flavor anywhere. Thank you for sharing your delicious energy. It's a treat with just the right flavor, vitamins and pep!

Trackbacks

  1. […] be honest, the flavor reminded me of a cross between Bing Energy Drink and its sibling, Bing Black. The base Monster experience was still there, but like the cranberry, […]

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