This new BeverageDaily.com slot sees us scour the supermarket shelves for exciting NPD, with drinks scored for taste, texture, packaging, branding and price. Oatworks Oat-Powered Fruit Smoothies are first in the firing line!
TASTE: Surprisingly refreshing, with a berry burst on the pallet - it contains apple, pear and pomegranate juices from concentrate, as well as raspberry and blueberry purees. The drink has a velvety smoothness due to the oat soluble fiber content, but as a juice based product is relatively high in sugar, with 170/355ml. That said, there is no added sugar, and only natural flavors and colors are used. (8/10)
TEXTURE: Given the presence of oat soluble fiber - the brand promises the drink is 'packed with the power of two bowls of oatmeal', I was expecting it to be a lot more gritty, but it is actually beautifully smooth (more so than a standard smoothie) and I would guess that the oatmeal (delivered via a patented ingredient supplied by Tate & Lyle) actually lends a hand here (8/10)
PACKAGING: Attractive contoured PET bottle with a distinctive shrink sleeve that features a viewing window, so consumers can see the product. Nice clean design, vibrant colors, impressive shelf standout (9/10)
BRANDING: 'Oatworks' and the logo featuring an oat plant have a nice, healthy/natural feel, and there's some subliminal suggestion directed towards the consumer here - Oatworks, 'oats work', 'oats will help you work', etc. Four clear points on the back inform the consumer that the drink can help them to (1) Power up (2) Sustain energy (3) Satisfy hunger (4) Maintain heart health via oat beta glucan content. (9/10)
PRICE: I'm checking this out!
AVAILABILITY: Has been released into New York City as a test market, and CEO David Peters has plans to extend US distribution and bring Oatworks to London, UK.
BRAINS BEHIND THE BRAND: Amateur running champ David Peters is the energetic brain behind Oatworks.
VERDICT: 34/40 is my provisional score, though I await price information. It's a tasty product with an attractive health and wellness halo, supported by an EFSA opinion that its oat beta glucan content helps lower blood cholesterol and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. A definite swallow not sling. Something different that I'd buy that challenges negative perceptions around oats regarding grittiness, graininess, etc.
N.B. I don't think it's fair to score brands on availability (this is always tricky for startups) and 'brains behind the brand', since I'd prefer to judge the drink I see in front of me on its own merits.
Tried Oatworks? Any thoughts? Please let me know in the comments box below?