Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Crystal Light Wild Strawberry energy mix

I hate to say it, but I am in love with a very old and very sexy feminine drink.   I know that the Macho Xtreme energy drinker dude in me is cringing, but I absolutely adore Crystal Light - down to it's sexy supermodel spokesperson to the awful 80's saccharin message of ""I believe in Crystal Light, because I believe in me." Crystal Light has even come out to say that they are just targeting women in their ads. According to the Kraft brand figures, they estimate that 40 percent of Crystal Light drinkers are men. but the purchasing is all up to the woman. According to Kraft's director of marketing for powdered beverages " everything that we do on the Crystal Light brand begins with the understanding that our consumers are women, so the benefits that we bring to light and the formulas that we provide are very much with women in mind.”

And now that Crystal light has jumped into the Mio-like squirt-able packaging, they are going to be unstoppable. Thing is, Crystal Light energy is really really good - not only in taste, but give just the right buzz for just about any activity you are up to. I use it for the gym, and find it gives me exactly the right boost to get me to the gym and have a great workout. I find myself mixing up a stick of their powder in the afternoon just for a little pickup. Maybe having these in my energy drink pantry will help my energy drink collection get in better touch with its feminine side.

Packaging:8
A pack of 10 comes in a cardboard box that resembles any other Kraft product, in terms of basic layout and design.  Being very feminine, there is a big lack of XTREMEness on the package, which I really like.  It is very clean and, dare I say it, pretty.   What I do like is that it is not overwhelmingly girly - going for clean graphics and lighter colors, rather than the juvenile Pink And Flowers combo that most drinks do when they want to appeal to the female consumer.  On top of the design, they do a decent job of the mechanics.  Their explanation of how to mix with water is a little insulting, but they list the full ingredients clearly and wrote caffeine content pretty clearly on it as well.

The sticks inside the pack are decent too, but of course they have much less info on it.  the stick of powder is easy to open up with your fingers, or teeth if you don't have the patience to deal.  The one thing I noticed is that if the package comes into any contact with water, the whole thing gums up and becomes unusable.  So if it is early and you accidentally drop it in your water, there is no hope for recovery - just toss it in the trash and do it again.

Taste:9
One powder stick makes 16 ounces of liquid, and how you divvy that up is up to you.  FOr the gym, I usually add one pack to a 24 ounce water bottle and it works great for a whole workout.  The mix is not too sweet for regular gym consumption, although emptying one in a smaller 8-10 ounce container makes for a strong punch.

The flavor really works too - it is quite delicious.  No, it does not taste anything like real wild strawberries, as much as any Kool Aid flavor would taste like the package.  It really is of no matter here, as the flavor is yummy and sweet enough to sway anyone who does not mind the taste of artificial sweetener.  The strawberry flavor is like that of a strawberry lollipop, although the sugar is just the right amount of sour to really work.

Buzz:8
There are supposedly 60 calories in a serving, but they list one stick as having two servings.  The two serving size works like a can of soda is two servings - there is absolutely no way to only mix half a packet.  They should forgo the silliness and just say it has 120mg of caffeine in the whole thing and be done with it.  It is not like they need to worry about the calorie content, as one of the big selling points of Crystal Light has always been their very low calorie count.

Of course as you would expect from any energy drink powder, it is not full of much natural.  The drink packet has a good amount of preservatives, as well as sweetened with aspartame, along with some Ace-K to help it lose some of aspartame's bite.  If thinks like non nutritive chemical sweeteners don't bug you (I am all about the calorie-free drinks, so this does not bother me in the least), then these little packs are sure winners - even for your most macho dudes.

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