While PepsiCo already has an investment in ONE Coconut Water, it was exciting to see the popular hydration liquid being added to the SoBe Lifewater lineup. After tasting quite a few good & bad representations of coconut water flavors at a recent trade show, I'm of the opinion that they've done a nice job here with SoBe Lifewater with Coconut Water and the 3 flavors offered, Pacific Coconut, Pomegranate Nectarine, & Mango Mandarin.
We recently took a look at 4 flavors of Golazo All Natural Sports Hydration, which featured "7% coconut water." This SoBe lineup proclaims "10% coconut water." The flavors come in the standard SoBe 20 oz contoured "grip" plastic bottle they use for the rest of the Lifewater lineup, with a shrink-wrapped label covering most of the surface area. Callouts on the top note that this beverage is positioned as "Hydration with Coconut Water." Overall, the packaging is dark blue at the top, fading to a lighter blue at the bottom, with color accents depending on flavor. It's a solid design overall.
It should be noted that these beverages are sweetened with sugar as well as stevia (most likely PureVia, which is Pepsi's choice of a Reb-A sweetener), though the combo isn't really advertised on the packaging, other than the mention that each bottle contains just 80 calories.
SoBe Lifewater with Coconut Water – Pacific Coconut is probably the most "standard" of the flavors, as it pretty much contains what you'd expect coconut water to taste like. No real flavors are added to the mix, and the cloudy white beverage produces quite a strong coconut scent. The drink itself is quite sweet, tasting somewhat like the inside of a Mounds candy bar if you were to liquify the experience (minus the chocolate… you'll need to mix with Zico Chocolate to recreate that experience fully!) It's quenching, sweet, and not very bitter like other coconut waters. If you don't like the flavor of coconut water in general, then you probably aren't going to like this. However, if you do, then it's a winner. Solid aftertaste as well, even with the stevia use.
SoBe Lifewater with Coconut Water – Pacific Coconut
Filtered water, sugar, coconut water concentrate, natural flavor, citric acid, reb a (purified stevia extract), sea salt, potassium chloride, gum arabic
A 20 oz bottle contains 80 calories, 110 mg sodium, 160 mg potassium, and 21 g carbs (20 g sugars). Caffeine free.
Moving on to SoBe Lifewater with Coconut Water – Pomegranate Nectarine, I'll tell you right now that this is my favorite flavor of the bunch. Slightly pink in color, this flavor has a unique scent that isn't overtly strong on the berry, which is welcomed. I really liked how the pomegranate worked with the citrusy nature of nectarine. It's a very fresh, lively taste that wasn't bogged down in the typical coconut water flavor profile. As a stand-alone drink, it's quite tasty. However, I also tested it in my water bottle during a 10-mile ride on my bike. It quenched quite well in that situation, but came off a bit sweet (unlike say, Nuun tablets, which seem to be more ideal for that purpose). Still, the audience for this beverage is probably not someone always riding on two wheels with pedals, and from that perspective, I think it does well in bringing coconut water, stevia, and flavor together. Thumbs up!
SoBe Lifewater with Coconut Water – Pomegranate Nectarine
Filtered water, sugar, coconut water concentrate, natural flavor, citric acid, black carrot juice concentrate (color), calcium lactate, potassium citrate, sea salt, reb a (purified stevia extract), gum arabic
A 20 oz bottle contains 80 calories, 110 mg sodium, 190 mg potassium, and 21 g carbs (20 g sugars). Caffeine free.
We round things out with SoBe Lifewater with Coconut Water – Mango Mandarin. What's is it with the popularity of coconut water and mandarin flavors? This stuff has a light yellow tint, as well as a very strong mango scent. It just exudes "tropical"! This is a pretty solid flavor as well, but I feel that aside from the initial blast of citrus flavor, it progresses into something more empty, exposing the stevia sweetener in a way I didn't really experience with Pomegranate Nectarine. It does, however, mask the coconut water flavor quite well, while also quenching and hydrating (which I noted from another ride on the ol' bicycle). Probably my 2nd favorite flavor in this lineup.
SoBe Lifewater with Coconut Water – Mango Mandarin
Filtered water, sugar, coconut water concentrate, natural flavor, citric acid, caramel color, calcium lactate, potassium citrate, sea salt, reb a (purified stevia extract), gum arabic
A 20 oz bottle contains 80 calories, 115 mg sodium, 190 mg potassium, and 21 g carbs (20 g sugars). Caffeine free.
Overall, SoBe Lifewater with Coconut Water is a well-executed lineup, showcasing the hot functionality of coconut water with the latest "natural" sweetener, stevia. They are one of the better interpretations of flavored coconut water beverages that we've tasted. There are other great products, but SoBe's availability and distribution will help in exposing these to pretty large audiences. Well done!
Official Website: SoBe.com
Full Disclosure: These beverages were provided compliments of PepsiCo