Review: Glaceau FruitWater – Black Raspberry, Strawberry Kiwi, Lemon-Lime, Orange Mango, & Watermelon Punch


In 2012, the Sparkling Ice product line from Talking Rain grew close to 2000% in sales, generating $43 million per SymphonyIRI. The product is a flavored, carbonated water featuring artificial sweeteners and zero calories. The success of Sparkling Ice prompted everyone to jump on the bandwagon, including the big guns at Coke and Pepsi.

Glaceau FruitWater - Black Raspberry, Strawberry Kiwi, Orange Mango, Lemon-Lime, & Watermelon Punch

Glaceau FruitWater – Black Raspberry, Strawberry Kiwi, Orange Mango, Lemon-Lime, & Watermelon Punch

Coke decided to revive the previously discontinued Glaceau Fruit Water product line, which originally was sweetened with fructose. The new "fruitwater" line is sweetened with sucralose, thus to give it no calories. Curiously, it also doesn't contain any actual fruit. The new lineup also contains green tea and guarana to provide a little "kick."

The Original Fruit Water: Sweetened with fructose & fruit juice

The Original Fruit Water: Sweetened with fructose & fruit juice
(Source: PR Newswire)

By rolling out their Sparkling Ice competitor under the Glaceau brand, Coke easily piggybacked off the perceived healthiness already found with VitaminWater and SmartWater.

Iconography used on FruitWater labeling

Iconography used on FruitWater labeling

Launched in 5 flavors — Black Raspberry, Strawberry Kiwi, Lemon-Lime, Orange Mango, and Watermelon PunchFruitWater comes in ergonomic 16.9 oz plastic bottles. Very attractive and clean packaging, with the color of the product dominating the visual. Great gripability! Only a small label band sits towards the bottom of the bottle showcasing the product name and flavor information. One nice touch is the small icons created to visually illustrate each flavor.

All of the flavors featured zero calories, Vitamins B5 & B6, green tea extract, magnesium, and zinc — because these days, you have to pretend like your carbonated drink actually has some sort of functional elements to make it worthwhile.

Glaceau FruitWater Black Raspberry

Glaceau FruitWater Black Raspberry

Let's start with Glaceau FruitWater Black Raspberry, which features a dark red/purple color. The tartness of the beverage can be detected in the scent, which reminded me a lot like a carbonated version of Crystal Light. The carbonation is strong on the front end. The raspberry flavor is bold, but light overall. Like most artificially sweetened drinks, the flavor transitions into a predictable sucralose-powered aftertaste.

Glaceau FruitWater Black Raspberry
Carbonated water, less than 0.5% of: citric acid, magnesium sulfate, natural flavors, sucralose, potassium sorbet and potassium benzoate (to protect taste), zinc gluconate, calcium disodium ETDA (to protect color), Vitamin B5 (calcium pantothenate), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), green tea extract, guarana seed extract, Red 40, Blue 1

A 16.9 oz bottle contains 0 calories, 55 mg sodium, and less than 1 g carbs (sugars 0 g).

Glaceau FruitWater Strawberry Kiwi

Glaceau FruitWater Strawberry Kiwi

I'll admit, in general I'm not a huge fan of strawberry kiwi flavor combinations. But the flavor in Glaceau FruitWater Strawberry Kiwi is pleasant. Like other FruitWater flavors, it's quite light, though I wouldn't exactly call it "exotic" (which is how it's officially described). For once, the strawberry doesn't dominate over the kiwi flavor, which is appreciated. However, the use of sucralose is pretty evident with this flavor combination.

Glaceau FruitWater Strawberry Kiwi
Carbonated water, less than 0.5% of: citric acid, magnesium sulfate, natural flavors, sucralose, potassium sorbet and potassium benzoate (to protect taste), zinc gluconate, calcium disodium ETDA (to protect color), Vitamin B5 (calcium pantothenate), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), green tea extract, guarana seed extract, Red 40, glycerol ester of rosin, gum acacia

A 16.9 oz bottle contains 0 calories, 50 mg sodium, and less than 1 g carbs (sugars 0 g).

Glaceau FruitWater Lemon-Lime

Glaceau FruitWater Lemon-Lime

Moving on to one of my personal favorites, Glaceau FruitWater Lemon-Lime. I really liked this flavor. It had a great lemon lime scent and a tanginess that I enjoyed. With a green/yellow color, it looks a lot like something Crystal Light would offer. Flavor is light, which made it an excellent compliment with food/ The artificial sweetener taste is present, but well blended into the overall experience.

Glaceau FruitWater Lemon-Lime
Carbonated water, less than 0.5% of: citric acid, magnesium sulfate, natural flavors, sucralose, potassium sorbet and potassium benzoate (to protect taste), zinc gluconate, calcium disodium ETDA (to protect color), Vitamin B5 (calcium pantothenate), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), green tea extract, guarana seed extract, Yellow 5, Blue 1, glycerol ester of rosin, gum acacia

A 16.9 oz bottle contains 0 calories, 50 mg sodium, and less than 1 g carbs (sugars 0 g).

Glaceau FruitWater Orange Mango

Glaceau FruitWater Orange Mango

Glaceau FruitWater Orange Mango is officially described as "rich, golden, and full of invigorating bubbles." There's a scent that reminds me a bit of Tang breakfast drink, especially with the light orange color. The flavor skews heavily on the mango side of things, with a light touch. There is a richness in the taste, but it doesn't do a very good job masking the sweeteners. Not bad overall, but could be better.

Glaceau FruitWater Orange Mango
Carbonated water, less than 0.5% of: citric acid, magnesium sulfate, natural flavors, sucralose, potassium sorbet and potassium benzoate (to protect taste), zinc gluconate, calcium disodium ETDA (to protect color), Vitamin B5 (calcium pantothenate), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), green tea extract, guarana seed extract, Yellow 6, glycerol ester of rosin, gum acacia

A 16.9 oz bottle contains 0 calories, 55 mg sodium, and less than 1 g carbs (sugars 0 g).

Glaceau FruitWater Watermelon Punch

Glaceau FruitWater Watermelon Punch

Rounding out the flavors is the light pink-colored Glaceau FruitWater Watermelon Punch, which pretty much smells like watermelon-flavored Jolly Rancher candy. A tad syrupy, it's still quite light and sweet, with the watermelon flavor really driving it. It finishes with a somewhat lime flavor that makes it quite refreshing.

Glaceau FruitWater Watermelon Punch
Carbonated water, less than 0.5% of: citric acid, magnesium sulfate, natural flavors, sucralose, potassium sorbet and potassium benzoate (to protect taste), zinc gluconate, calcium disodium ETDA (to protect color), Vitamin B5 (calcium pantothenate), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), green tea extract, guarana seed extract, Red 40

A 16.9 oz bottle contains 0 calories, 50 mg sodium, and less than 1 g carbs (sugars 0 g).

Overall, I was quite impressed with the revised FruitWater lineup. The packaging is excellent, and the flavors support the light/airy visual that is presented. With 5 tastes to choose from, it's easy to find a winner in the bunch. If you are looking for a low calorie treat, this lineup is worth checking out. I paid $1 per bottle on sale, which comes out to about 6 cents per ounce. Sugar-free powered drinks have a better return, but you won't get the carbonation or convenience.

Comments

  1. I had the orange mango one and it was okay.

  2. Great article, indeed they've tried to leverage the perceived healthiness of the VitaminWater & SmartWater brands, while flexing some of their distribution ties to get on shelf…however i think FruitWater's name (no fruit juice what so ever) and structure (awkward and alien-esque) is what's holding back their success…along with not arriving too late on the sparkling water scene.

  3. I tried Glaceau fruit water sparkling zero calorie Black Raspberry 16.9oz & my Husband & I did not enjoy it at all! The taste made me almost ill instantly. Maybe a different flavor is better.

  4. Orange mango was TERRIBLE. Take Fanta orange soda and go down two steps from there. Worst buck and a half I ever spent.

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