Over the course of the last two to three years, I’ve had a good amount of companies asking me to write a review and receive for free, a few samples of their product. It’s a pretty smart way of doing business I think. However many companies these days are using Internet analytics and if you get enough daily “hits”, and your site/blog is in the “general vicinity” of their product, they send you a formatted email with a “pitch” and ask you to write a review in return for some product. So when it comes to these requests, I’ve made a simple rule for Feel Good Eating, and it is as follows. If the company/marketing manager takes the time to actually read my blog 🙂 and comes up with something personal and finds a smart way of tying it into their brand/product (showing they actually read it), I will do a review and try their goods. One of my favorite ones was a few years ago from the marketing manager from Oikos Yogurt. She actually challenged me and was so confident in her product that she told me their fat free organic greek yogurt was as tasty as the full fat variety I was eating. I did not want to debate fat free vs. full fat with her, but I did take her up on the challenge and she organized a give away AND, I will say that her fat free yogurt was right on par taste wise with the full fat brand I was eating.
So, a few week ago I got a REALLY nice and personal email with a smart approach from a marketing/product manager at Cascade Ice. (owned by the Unique Beverage company). the reason I decided to do a review was two fold. First, I would like to see more product like this with minimal ingredients in the market place and second, selfishly, perhaps I could give some honest feed back to the company and hopefully get them to switch some of their ingredients I don’t go along with for an even healthier product.
Now let it be said that I usually don’t ever drink soda. When the occasion is right, I might have a glass of real coca cola with ice and some good rum. I do however have 4 children and 2 of those love soda. I don’t buy it for my house, but sometimes they ask for a special treat and I will buy them some “health soda brand” from Whole Foods or something. Of course when they are out and about, they grab their sprite and cokes when they can. So naturally they were stoked when they saw what had landed in our fridge due to the super nice people at Cascade Ice.
This rasberry lemonade is from their line of Cascade Ice Zero Calorie Sparkling Waters. The sparking waters have minimal ingredients, but they do have a small amount of sucralose added. See my feeling about sucralose at the end of the post. Out of this line I tried little sips of the raspberry lemonade, pineapple blueberry ban, blueberry watermelon, coconut, huckleberry blackberry and the peach mango. I tried a tiny sip of the strawberry chocolate one also. All flavors tasted refreshing and “light” in flavor, not overpowering and not super sweet. The strawberry chocolate was the only one that tasted “foreign” to me, but my daughter loved it and said it was outrageous and the best soda she ever tasted. 🙂 How wonderful the world is at age 11.
The other samples were more to my liking as compared to my kids as these were not really light sodas but more like flavored sparkling waters.
My favorite one;
Very light and refreshing, and I will admit that all I could think about was adding some vodka or tequila to it as a cocktail for a Friday night. This line is called Cascade Ice Organic sparkling Water. The other flavor I tried was the lemon lime and was also light and refreshing.
So I’m guessing some of you are scratching your head and saying, why is yours truly reviewing a soda product.
Let me explain.
This newer beverage company is really trying to make a difference and provide a superior product. They have been around for a few years and their initial product contained sugar plus a host of other ingredients. They have been slowly stripping away at the ingredient list. I’m all about “improvement” and it makes me happy when a company doesn’t rest on it laurels.
There are two factors that I do not like about the product and that is the use of sucralose and coloring. Now sucralose may not penetrate the blood brain barrier as aspartame does, hence entering the brain and creating neurotoxin havoc at the brain center, but they are still a chemically made derivative and some people could have reactions to it.I would love to see the brand embrace stevia as their sweetener of choice.
As to food coloring, since soda is drunk by kids, I wish the U.S would draft some sort of bill against using coloring and dye’s. In Italy for example, any candy marketed to children is not allowed to have color added. simple and easy. The evidence I’ve read is not overwhelming, but there is no question that a good percentage of kids have reactions from it.
Thank you Cascade Ice for giving me the opportunity to review your product. I also brought a few samples to my office and ALL of my co-workers in the office absolutely loved your product. With the exception of one person, no-one had heard of it before and were blown away by how good it was. They went online shortly after to find out where they could get their hands on some.