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PRODUCT: Dasani Essence Unsweetened Flavored Water

We carry our own water bottle, filled from the tap, to save the environment from the impact of all those water bottles (1,500 are thrown away every second, according to the Earth Policy Institute). But a flavored treat we’ve been enjoying since its debut earlier this year is Dasani Essence, bottled water with flavor but no sweeteners, no preservatives, no calories.

Unsweetened flavored water beverages are growing faster than any other segment in the $11 billion U.S. bottled water and beverage category, according to Coca-Cola, makers of Dasani. The idea behind Dasani Essence is that, according to a 2007 research study, most consumers prefer lightly flavored bottled water beverages with little or no sweetener (hmm….what about the runaway success of Coca-Cola’s own VitaminWater?). The thought behind Dasani Essence was to offer the experience of a lightly flavored water that many people enjoy when they squeeze a wedge of fresh lemon or lime into their water glass.

Two of the three debut flavors are a bit more splashy than that: Black Cherry Essence and Strawberry Kiwi Essence. The Lime Essence truly is what you’d expect by squeezing some lime in your water (and if that’s what you want, check out True Lemon and True Lime, packets you can carry with you that do just that).

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The hottest-growing category in water and water beverages. Photo courtesy of Dasani.

The Black Cherry Essence was our favorite, rich black cherry flavor tantamount to having an unsweetened, uncarbonated cherry soda. Perhaps our bottler was a bit more generous with the flavor, because we observed a complaint from another taster that there was hardly any cherry flavor in her bottle. Strawberry Kiwi Essence was in the middle: enjoyable, with more impact than the Lime Essence but less than the Black Cherry.

If you believe that you don’t need the sugar or artificial sweeteners in a soft drink, check out Dasani Essence.

 





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