Review: Red Bull Editions – Red, Silver, and Blue


The Red Bull Editions are three new flavored versions of standard Red Bull energy drink. As noted in our preview story, the cranberry, lime, and blueberry flavors were first featured in Europe, but have finally made it across the Pacific. So let's take a look at Red Bull The Red Edition (Cranberry), Red Bull The Silver Edition (Lime), and Red Bull The Blue Edition (Blueberry).

Red Bull Editions – Red, Silver, and Blue

Red Bull Editions – Red, Silver, and Blue

The new flavored versions mark the second big line extension for Red Bull in 2012, with the company previously releasing Red Bull Total Zero as well.

Red Bull Total Zero

Red Bull Total Zero
(Source: RedBull.com)

Red Bull has historically not added many extensions to its lineup, banking on the strength of the core brand to continue its market dominant position. In recent years, the company has launched and discontinued two other products that did not perform as expected, Red Bull Energy Shot and Red Bull Simply Cola.

Red Bull Energy Shot & Red Bull Simply Cola

Red Bull Energy Shot & Red Bull Simply Cola
(Source: RedBull.com & BevReview Archives)

With competition from Monster and others who are adding more flavors and functionality, 3 new flavors from Red Bull aren't exactly innovative, but they open the door to customers who like the brand, but aren't completely sold on the traditional Red Bull flavor.

Initial rollout at 7-Eleven, with full distribution in 2013

Initial rollout at 7-Eleven, with full distribution in 2013

Each of the drinks are packaged in the standard Red Bull 8.4 oz can, with the name of the flavor dominating the color scheme. The style is a break from the traditional Red Bull trade dress, with the name "Red Bull" now being subordinate to the name of the drink (i.e. "The Red Edition").

Pulltabs on the Red Bull Editions

Pulltabs on the Red Bull Editions

Additionally, a stylized bull icon can be see towards the top of the can. Overall, each can is now primarily 2 colors — red/silver, silver/black, and blue/silver. The tops of the cans also feature colored pulltabs that match the flavor, with a punched-out area in the shape of the Red Bull logo. All flavors are made in Austria.

The Red Edition

Red Bull The Red Edition (Cranberry)

Red Bull The Red Edition (Cranberry)

The Red Edition is a cranberry-flavored Red Bull and is probably our favorite of the three. With a redish/pink hue, there's a definite cherry/berry scent to the drink. Probably one of the best elements of this flavor is that the cranberry taste really does a nice job masking the energy drink flavors typically associated with Red Bull. In other words, those offended by the flavor of Red Bull may now actually want to drink it more frequently. The cranberry flavor was quite tasty, with very pleasant mouthfeel, including the aftertaste. There was no mistaking that this was an energy drink, but it was a rather sweet and palatable one.

Red Bull The Red Edition
Carbonated water, sucrose, glucose, citric acid, taurine, sodium citrate, magnesium carbonate, caffeine, glucuronolactone, inositol, niacinamide, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine HCI, Vitmain B12, natural flavors, colors.

A 8.4 oz can contains 110 calories, 100 mg sodium, and 28 g carbs (27 g sugars). Caffeine content is 9.5 mg/oz., which is on par with traditional Red Bull's 9.64 mg/oz.

The Silver Edition

Red Bull The Silver Edition (Lime)

Red Bull The Silver Edition (Lime)

The Silver Edition is lime-flavored, with a clear look when poured into a glass. It smells like a tradition lemon/lime beverage. When you drink it, however, it's quite bitter, producing a pucker in your mouth. The early sip experience produces a nice lime flavor, but that quickly transitions into something tasting more medicinal, much like original Red Bull. It's not a horrible flavor, but probably our least favorite of the three Editions. Red Bull seems to be masked better by berry flavors rather than citrus flavors.

Red Bull The Silver Edition
Carbonated water, sucrose, glucose, citric acid, taurine, sodium citrate, magnesium carbonate, caffeine, glucuronolactone, inositol, niacinamide, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine HCI, Vitmain B12, natural flavors, sucrose acetate isobutyrate, glycerol esters of wood rosins, Blue 1.

A 8.4 oz can contains 110 calories, 100 mg sodium, and 28 g carbs (27 g sugars). Caffeine content is 9.5 mg/oz., which is on par with traditional Red Bull's 9.64 mg/oz.

The Blue Edition

Red Bull The Blue Edition (Blueberry)

Red Bull The Blue Edition (Blueberry)

The final flavor we are looking at is The Blue Edition, a blueberry-flavored Red Bull. Behind The Red Edition, this was our second favorite flavor. This flavor is quite syrupy, but the blueberry flavor is quite strong. The color is purplish/blue, with a fake berry scent. Like the cranberry version, the blueberry flavoring masks the taurine and other energy drink elements quite well. It's more robust and less acidic than the cranberry, but nowhere near as bitter as the lime flavor.

Red Bull The Blue Edition
Carbonated water, sucrose, glucose, citric acid, taurine, sodium citrate, magnesium carbonate, caffeine, glucuronolactone, inositol, niacinamide, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine HCI, Vitmain B12, natural and artificial flavors, colors, Blue 1.

A 8.4 oz can contains 110 calories, 100 mg sodium, and 28 g carbs (27 g sugars). Caffeine content is 9.5 mg/oz., which is on par with traditional Red Bull's 9.64 mg/oz.

Overall, the Red Bull Editions are a safe expansion to the Red Bull lineup. Same functionality, but with different tastes. Existing Red Bull fans will no doubt appreciate the variety. The growth aspect comes with those who may give Red Bull a second look now that there are flavor options, having earlier not adopted the drink due to its original flavor.

Comments

  1. From a packaging standpoint, there's quite a bit of disconnect between the original Red Bull and these flavored additions. I love the restraint of Red Bull, staying focused on a few sku's and now coming out with a flavor system, however i'm not convinced they're using the right aesthetic vehicle to maximize their brand.

  2. Good review, interestingly enough I have the complete opposite opinion; I think the Silver Edition is by far the best, it tastes kind of like a Red Bull/Amp combo to me. Blue is alright, and Red Edition I find a bit bitter with a weird aftertaste. Overall though I hope they keep coming out with new flavors, and Red Bull Cola needs to make a comeback.

  3. Justjames says:

    I absolutely hate the taste of red bull. The smell alone makes me cringe. But, I gave these new flavors a chance during a long drive the other day and I have to say… Damn! I was very pleased! The blue and red are for sure the best, but I have no problem with the lime either. So, good job red bull. You just scored a new fan. Hope these stick around!

  4. I tried all three & the Blue Edition is my favorite. Red Edition is my least.

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