Food In Canada


Taste Testing: Aquafina Plus+ Vitamins

Aquafina Plus+ Vitamins vitamin enhanced water from PepsiCo Beverages Canada offers 250 per cent of the recommended daily value for vitamin C in each 591-mL bottle, as well as vitamin E and B vitamins. The beverage is available in five flavours: Strawberry Kiwi, Orange Tangerine, Blackberry Grape, Passionfruit Citrus, and Pomegranate Cherry. Last year the company launched Aquafina Plus+ Vitamins 10 Cal, Canada’s first low-calorie vitamin water featuring a pure stevia extract natural sweetener. There are three new varieties available in the 10 Cal brand: Black and Blue Berry, Acai Fruit Punch, and Tropical Cherimoya. This year both brands have been given dramatic new packaging. The unique wave-shaped bottle evokes the element of water, giving a refreshing look and colourful design. The new bottle also adds a modern, dynamic image. Here’s what our tasters had to say:

Male, 40-something, editor
“For someone whose digestive system can no longer tolerate carbonated drinks, PepsiCo’s introduction of the Aquafina Plus + Vitamins line of flavored/enhanced water a couple of years back was the proverbial best thing since sliced bread — at least until the more recent launch of the Aquafina Plus + Vitamins 10 Cal diet version of the drink. In fact, if I had the 10 Cal low-calorie version first, the fact that this was a low-calorie drink would have passed me by altogether — the rich, flavourful and fully satisfying taste profile truly stands out head-and-shoulder above many other similarly ‘enhanced water’ beverages out there on the store-shelves, especially with the newly launched, upgraded packaging that gives the 591-mL containers a distinctly refreshing ‘wavy’ look, as well as far bar better ‘grippability,’ for lack of a better word. Insofar as individual flavours go, I’m a big ‘equal opportunity’ fan of the Black and Blue Berry, Acai Fruit Punch and Tropical Cherimoya flavours: each one is as good as the other. And while I comparatively underwhelmed with the taste sensation Tropical Cherimoya flavour variety — a little too bland and weak in both the taste and colour departments — it’s a moot point indeed, as I would pick this beverage over 99 per cent of the other similarly priced drink options out there.”

Female, 30-something, teacher
“I happened to be feeling a little under the weather and craved something fruity. The Aquafina plus+ Tropical Cherimoya Vitamins 10 Cal hit the spot. It smells like something you’d get on a Caribbean island. And I really liked the taste. The flavour is very subtle. I couldn’t put my finger on what the flavour reminds me of. I’m not familiar with cherimoya (I had to look it up), so I’m not sure if I should be looking for some citrus-y notes or something like mango or papaya. I really liked the Nutrition Facts Table: zero sugar and only 10 calories. It does make me wonder what else is in it. But the bottle says it’s sweetened with Pure Via all-natural sweetener. I had never heard of this before, but was relieved it wasn’t aspartame. It does leave a bit of an aftertaste. I think I prefer just plain water, but I might buy this when I have a craving for juice and want to skip all the sugar and calories. I love how the bottle looks. It seems big, like it would be hard to hold and might slip out of your hands. But the ribbing makes a huge difference. I don’t mind the sleeve label, but I did find myself wanting to see inside. And the nutrition facts were a bit difficult to read.”

Female, 32, yoga instructor

“The Aquafina Plus+ Vitamins Blackberry Grape smells fruity, not too overpowering, very mild. The flavour is also subtle. It goes down well. It doesn’t have that sickly sweet taste I find some juice drinks have, which is why I don’t buy them. And this one doesn’t leave an aftertaste. This has quite a bit of sugar, so I wouldn’t ever drink the whole bottle – unless I was running a marathon or cycling a long distance. It would be great if it came in smaller sizes. This bottle is difficult to hold in one hand, though the ridges do help.”

Female, 12
I loved this flavour (Aquafina Plus+Vitamins 10 Cal in Black and Blue Berry). It’s sweet and yummy and a nice colour. The shape of the bottle rocks! How did they do that?”

Male, 40-something, writer

“I was pleasantly surprised by the Aquafina Plus+Vitamins in the Blackberry Grape flavour. I’m not one for flavoured water, but this one hit the spot. As for the new spiralized packaging, at first I wondered what it had to do with the product, then wondered if it afforded the consumer a hand grip (it does, sort of). But then I realized it must be a way to utilize less PET in the manufacture of the bottle while still offering it above-average strength. If that is the case, it works. As for the form-fitting labelling, it separates the product from the standard ‘plain old water’ products out there, though the printed colour near the base of the label implies that the water is darker in colour than it actually is. It makes the product appear similar in scope to a juice, rather than a flavoured water. In fact, as from the Aquafina name, there is nothing overt on the label to advise the consumer that it is a water-based product – except for the very tiny font in white at the base of the bottle. Excellent sleeving, but the label design is lacking.”

Female, 40-something, sales
“I was surprised at how flavourful the Aquafina Plus+Vitamins 10 Cal in the Black and Blue Berry was. At first I thought I had grabbed a bottle of the regular calorie drink. It was full-flavoured, not lacking in sweetness at all, and none of the usual off taste that I associate with low-calorie beverages. I’d like to see a few more flavours in this brand more along the lines of the regular brand – Strawberry Kiwi for instance. Otherwise, very refreshing and tasty. I loved the new shape of the bottle. Easy to open and hold. Although the label is a bit crinkly and sort of boring, the shape of the bottle itself would grab my attention on the grocery shelf. Impressive and innovative – something I’d expect from a company like PepsiCo.”

Male, 20, student
“The Aquafina Plus+Vitamins in Blackberry Grape is pretty good, nice sized bottle, interesting label. I’d buy it. Tropical Cherimoya tasted weird to me. Too sweet. I’d try some of the other flavours. Cool bottle.”

Food in Canada

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