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Hello Water is a line of “natural essence water” beverages that are currently available in three flavors, Mixed Berry, Lemon Lime, and Cucumber Lime. The featured attributes of the products are their zero sugar, 10 calorie formulations which are fortified with 5g of dietary fiber.
On the surface, this sounds pretty straightforward: a naturally sweetened flavored water that has added fiber. That certainly sounds like something that has potential space in the marketplace. However, each flavor features a verb: “Smile” for Mixed Berry, “Laugh” for Lemon Lime, and “Love” for Cucumber Lime. These are clearly there for inspiration purposes and to make the products feel inviting, but for us, to some, they could be a distraction from my ability to quickly grasp the product’s benefits. Specifically, you are forced to evaluate this — is it the drink’s function? Is it the flavor? What does it mean? And in reality, it has nothing to do with what’s inside the bottle.
Speaking of what’s inside the bottle, these products are actually quite tasty as far as zero calorie beverages are concerned. While the clear liquid and “natural essence water” made me expect something like Hint Water, the additional sweetness is a nice change of pace. The products use a blend of erythritol and stevia, which has a pretty natural sweetness and minimal aftertaste. However, the fruit flavors taste like flavorings and there’s definitely some room for improvement.
Finally, there’s the packaging. The product comes in a 16 oz. clear plastic bottle that’s more commonly used for juice products, so it definitely has a unique look as far as flavored water drinks. The label is clear with a back panel that has fruit images on it. This was designed with the intention of the consumer looking through the label, but the actual product doesn’t look nearly as sharp as the mockups that you’ll see on the company’s website.
The issue with this approach is that it makes the identification of the flavor slightly cumbersome, especially given the previously mentioned issue of the inspirational words (Laugh, Love, or Smile) that are placed vertically in the middle of the label. In addition, we think it would be helpful to give a more direct nod to the fact that this is a sweetened product. And of course there’s the added fiber: in the current version, this feels like something that’s an afterthought that isn’t explained overly well.
All in all, Hello Water is a product line that feels like it has some merit as far as what it currently offers to the consumer. But like many upstart product lines, it feels a bit rough around the edges, especially when it comes to how it presents itself and communicates its value proposition. From there, dialing in the flavor and finding a happy medium between the fruit flavors and the sweeteners would certainly help as well.
If you are following a ketogenic diet (keto), you need to restrict your daily carbohydrate intake so that your body enters ketosis. For most people, this means less than 50 net carbs per day. Net carbs are calculated by subtracting fiber from total carbs.
A product with 26 grams of total carbohydrates and 9 grams of fiber will have 17 grams net carbs. Math equation: 26 – 9 = 17
IMPORTANT: Net carbs are per serving. Make sure you know your serving size or else you may go over your planned intake and exit ketosis.
The top parameter for weight management is low-calorie intake. Beware: Most people cannot correctly estimate their calorie intake because they do not know what portion size they are consuming.
Stevia – Naturally good? Stevia is considered the most natural non-nutritive sweetener because it comes from a plant. If you were consuming only the leaves, this would certainly hold ground.
However, what you are actually consuming is a concentration of steviol glycoside – a chemically altered version of the leaf.
Some tout stevia as the miracle sweetener, while others couldn’t disagree more. Studies have called it a carcinogen, while other studies say it has medical benefits. Proponents of its use say that it can help improve medical conditions from diabetes to heart disease. Stevia has been used widely in Japan since 1970 but was only approved by the FDA in 2010.
While stevia certainly seems like an improvement over other artificial sweeteners, it may not deserve the halo of health it has received – only time will tell. As far as using stevia, keep in mind that like any sweetener, it should be consumed in moderation.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol occurring naturally in fruits. However, it is much cheaper to produce industrially. This is done by fermenting glucose with a yeast called Moniliella pollinis.
Erythritol is only 60% as sweet as regular sugar. It has almost no calories – only 0.2 calories per gram vs. 4 calories for sugar (1/20th of the calories!).
An advantage Erythritol has over other sugar alcohols is that it is absorbed by the body and therefore does not cause cramps or bloating.
Natural flavors added. Learn why companies add flavorings to make products taste better. They are created in a lab and the formulations are guarded as trade secrets.
Flavorings can compensate for flavor loss during processing, substitute for ingredients, lower production costs and increase shelf stability. Natural flavorings are more expensive to source than artificial flavors but tend to be better received by consumers.
People sensitive to MSG, vegans, vegetarians and those with allergies should pay special attention to the phrase “natural flavorings” since glutamates, animal products or allergens may be the source of natural flavors. You can always contact the manufacturer for more information.
Inulin is a naturally occurring fiber found in high concentrations in chicory roots. What makes it popular with food manufacturers is its ability to successfully mix with other ingredients without ruining their flavor. It’s slightly sweet, about a quarter sweet as sugar. However, it is being added very liberally to some foods. This may result in flatulence for some people…