Review: Zun & Zun Lite Energy Drinks


If we were to give an award for coolest packaging, then Zun Energy Drink would definitely be in the running. Take a look at that awesome rocket ship-shaped bottle!

Zun Energy Drink (Rocket Bottle)

Zun Energy Drink (Rocket Bottle)

Zun features what it calls "Brain Boosting Energy," derived from a "proprietary blend of vitamins and nutraceuticals" such as "Coenzyme Q10 and Choline." Um, sure. The funny thing about energy drinks claiming these odd functions… it's really hard to prove from regular use. They might as well say, "helps you be more human" and call that a function. I mean, seriously?

Rocket bottles and standard cans

Rocket bottles and standard cans
(Source: ZunEnergy.com)

The Zun lineup consists for regular Zun and Zun Lite, which is lower in calories due to the use of agave, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose. The eye catching rocket bottles are 12 oz in size and are actually clear plastic, with a black wrap around them that hides the color of the drink inside.

Zun Lite Energy Drink (Rocket Bottle)

Zun Lite Energy Drink (Rocket Bottle)

Each features a set of fins on the bottom that also helps provide stability to the bottle. More likely, however, you'll encounter the 16 oz can, which pretty much looks like any other energy drink you see on the market. Black in color, with either a red or blue band on top. I really love the rocket bottles, but once you get beyond that gimmick, is the drink inside worth your time and money?

Zun Energy Drink (Can)

Zun Energy Drink (Can)

Zun is a light red/pink-colored drink that smells a lot like cherry cough medicine. It's very syrupy in texture with light carbonation. The flavor has a hint of cherry/melon, which is unlike the makeup of most energy drinks, especially due to the very small amount of carbonation present. The lack of bubbles makes the base of the drink stand out, and from that perspective, it's heavy and extremely artificial in taste. It not only smells like cough medicine, it tastes like it too.

Zun Lite Energy Drink (Can)

Zun Lite Energy Drink (Can)

Moving over to the lower calorie version, Zun Line, here we have a light blue-colored drink that smells much like berry Kool-Aid. Like regular Zun, this version is also quite syrupy and low on carbonation. There's a slight blue raspberry taste, combined with a notable presence of the alternative sweeteners used.

Both versions feature Vitamins C, E, B6, and B12, as well as the standards found in energy drinks, taurine and caffeine. Caffeine content is 9.2 mg/oz., which is slightly lower than Red Bull's 9.64 mg/oz. I did detect a notable buzz after drinking these beverages that seemed to last maybe an hour or so. I can't say that my "brain cloud" was removed, however.

Zun is marketed as being "out of this world," and like many energy products sold today, it's packaged as an "energy supplement," not a beverage. This is one reason why the industry is coming under additional fire by the likes of the FDA. In my opinion, rightly so. If you are making a drink, they you should have to adhere to the requirements of labeling and disclosure as one, including full itemization of your caffeine content and other functional additives. (I'll step off my soapbox now…)

I like the concept and marketing pitch behind Zun, however once you remove the flashy packaging, does it really stand out as a unique beverage? Since most will probably encounter this drink in its more traditional 16 oz can format, I'd have to say no. It's different given the light carbonation and fruity flavors. I personally don't think it's a drink I'd return to repeatedly, however.

Zun Energy Drink
Carbonated water, natural sugar, natural flavor, taurine, citric acid, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate (preserves freshness), maltodextrin, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), caffeine, alpha-tocopheryl acetate (Vitamin E), coenzyme Q10, xanthan gum, choline bitartrate, Red #40, Blue #1, cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12), pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6).

A 12 oz bottle contains 160 calories, 10 mg sodium, and 41 g carbs (40 g sugars).

Zun Lite Energy Drink
Carbonated water, blue agave syrup, natural flavor, taurine, citric acid, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate (preserves freshness), maltodextrin, caffeine, alpha-tocopheryl acetate (Vitamin E), coenzyme Q10, xanthan gum, sucralose & acesulfame potassium (artificial sweeteners), choline bitartrate, cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12), pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Blue #1.

A 12 oz bottle contains 20 calories, 10 mg sodium, and 4 g carbs (5 g sugars).

Official Website: ZunEnergy.com

Full Disclosure: These beverages were provided compliments of Fuzzee Bee Beverage

Comments

  1. Really interesting bottle structure, it rides the line line between equity and novelty. I like the transition of their graphics to the can. The logo however makes me reconsider the products efficacy, do i want something that looks like a joke? Overall they're doing some good things to differentiate themselves from the energy and brain boosting category…but is it the right differentiation?

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