Sunday, April 24, 2011

reed's, kombucha wonder drink - guest post by Michael Lober

All right, listen up all you ginger fanatics out there: enough is enough. Don't get me wrong, I like ginger just as much as the next person -- particularly when sushi is involved -- but I don't enjoy it in everything. In fact, I'd go so far to say that I don't enjoy it in most things: burgers, meatloaf, empanadas, ice cream, wine, etc. I understand that ginger is trendy--exotic enough to be hip but not enough to be alienating--and that ginger has made significant inroads with the organic foodie crowd. Fine. Shred it up and sprinkle it on your kale casseroles for all I care, but really, is it a good idea to make it the key ingredient in a soda? I enjoy a good ginger ale every now and then, but most of the time the ginger in these sodas isn't overwhelming. I understand that craft soda manufacturers often try to produce anti-Coca-Colas -- as in, a drink that tastes strong and earthy in such a way as to not seem mass produced -- but there's got to be a better way of doing so than by simply tripling the amount of ginger in the mix.

Reed's has gone one step further: They've based their entire brand around ginger. There are six different flavors of ginger brew put out by Reed's, which, in my opinion, is six too many. The ginger completely overpowers whatever fruit flavor it's mixed with, and the aftertaste isn't sweet like a ginger ale or biting like a root beer but pungent and nasal-cleansing like ginger. I mean, I like ginger in small doses on food that it complements, but I don't fancy the idea of eating (or drinking) entire stalks of the thing. Reed's can lecture me all they want about the health benefits of ginger. That's all fine and good, but when I want straight-up ginger, I'll just, you know, go buy some ginger. The bottle caps are pretty cool, though.

Kombucha Wonder Drink clearly has an inferiority complex. Let's start with the name. Wonder Drink? Seriously? And then there's the price -- $3.50 in my neighborhood, way too much for a bottled soda. Finally, there's the soda itself: Asian-Pear-Ginger soda. Asian pears and ginger taste just fine as a snack, but I don't need them in soda form.

Look, Kombucha Wonder Drink, I understand that you're trying to make a splash in a competitive marketplace; it's hard to compete with the craft soda producers of the world. I get it. But, seriously, everything about your soda makes it seem like you walked into a Whole Foods one day, bought a couple of items on sale, blended them to liquid form, and then charged Whole Food-like prices for the concoction. Good try, but maybe a little less pear and ginger next time. And your bottle cap could use an upgrade. Silver is so 2000s.


  1. Amen brother, the Reed's is a joke. I kinda dig the simplistic KWD crown design however.

  2. Just to clarify- "Wonder Kombucha" isn't a read product.