Hoping to get in on the success that Arizona has with their canned teas, in late 2009 Hansen Natural (now known as Monster Beverage) launched their Peace Tea lineup. Just like Arizona, these arrived in 23 oz cans and were discounted priced at 99 cents.
Originally launched in just four flavors (Green Tea, Imported Ceylon Tea, Sweet Lemon Tea, and Razzleberry Tea), the line has grown to also include Caddy Shack (their take on the Arnold Palmer tea & lemonade combo), Cranberry Tea, Texas Style Sweet Tea, and Pink Lemonade Tea. (Imported Ceylon Tea, Unsweetened Tea, and Diet Green Tea have been discontinued.)
From the sell sheets they provide retailers, it’s obvious that Peace is targeting Arizona, though some of the selling points make you scratch your head. For example:
- Customers want authenticity and products they can believe in. Arizona is a New York based company with no ties to the state of Arizona
- There is a resurgence of the peace movement in youth culture that is supported by the peace-themed merchandise, graphics, and fashion providing a connection with the community, activism, and history of the movement
- Peace Tea has almost half the calories of Arizona sweetened with sugar (and sucralose), but still offers the same sweet thirst quenching flavor. No high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
On that third point, we finally have a unique differentiator between Peace and Arizona. In the drink we’re looking at today, Peace Tea Razzleberry Tea, an entire 23 oz can contains 143.8 calories vs. Arizona’s 258.8 calories for the same size version of their Raspberry Tea. Peace Tea is using sugar and sucralose as their sweeteners, while Arizona tends to use HFCS and sucralose combinations.
Peace Tea is packaged in 23 oz aluminum cans, each featuring artwork that reflects the “peace movement” theme, including the use of the peace symbol in the product logo, brightly colored illustrations on the can, and pseudo-revolutionary phraseology sprinkled throughout the packaging (“We must think for ourselves”, “Don’t tread on me”, “We are in this together”, etc.). In the case of Razzleberry Tea, the primary color scheme is dark red, with blue accents. Callouts on the can include “100% natural tea”, “no artificial flavors”, “no preservatives”, and “no artificial colors.”
The drink itself is redish-dark in color, resembling what you’d expect from a tea product. There’s a hint of berry scent when you open the can as well. As for the taste, it starts out like a mild tea, a bit on the watery side — which isn’t a bad thing, as it also hints at the flavor not being overly loaded with syrup flavor. It’s a smooth flavor that isn’t bitter. In fact, Razzleberry Tea is quite sweet, and also, quite different from other raspberry tea-flavored products.
The use of artificial sweetener is in the aftertaste, as it lingers in your mouth slightly, but combined with sugar-sweetened base, it’s not overtly distracting or negative. The flavor has a strong berry/strawberry influence, outside of what you’d expect from a raspberry flavor. Almost like a wild berry combination of tastes loaded in there. In the end, the tea flavor isn’t overpowering, so this is probably a great drink for someone who prefers their blends sweet and more on the soda side vs. the authentic tea side.
Peace Tea Razzleberry Tea brings a fresh take on the raspberry tea concept, with a distinctive flavor combination that sets it apart from other products. The sugar & sucralose sweetener combo works rather well, while lowering the calorie count nicely.
Peace Tea Razzleberry Tea
Brewed natural tea (pure filtered water, tea), sugar, citric acid, natural flavors, sucralose
A 23 oz can contains 143.8 calories, 0 mg sodium, and 34.5 g carbs (34.5 g sugars)