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The 8Bit Podcast – Episode 032 Seltzer Water Taste Test



In Episode 32 of the 8Bit Podcast we decided to try something new. Talyn Riedesel, Creative Arcade Copywriter, and Stephen Pestalozzi, Designer, have some fun reviewing the design and copy that sells some of the most popular seltzer waters.

Seltzer waters? What is that?

Are you crazy? You haven’t noticed the rise of seltzer water, mineral water, sparkling water, etc? It is one of the fastest growing segment in purchased beverages. Although seltzer has been around for centuries, it has had a resurgence with different flavors, fancy names and the addition of alcohol to some to create a new choice when you want to have drinks with friends.

Talyn and Stephen include a taste test and uncover great insight into how the quality of the product correlates to the packaging and personality of the brand. Enjoy!



All: 00:15 [Inaudible]

Taylin: 00:21 Podcast 32 32 podcast 32, welcome to 32. Yeah, podcast. This specific podcast is going to be a lot more visual, so we highly recommend watching versus listening. But if you are stuck in a car, I hope you enjoy listening to us. Drink water. We’ve got a new crew today. Yes. Taylin writer, Stephen designer and camera operator. Typically, but not today. We dragged him out with some designer bait. Whose idea was this? Maybe mine, okay. So basically what we’re going to do today is we are going to first look at the design and copy of some seltzer waters and hard seltzer waters and then we’re going to a blind taste test, them. And see which ones are our favorite. So

Stephen: 01:12 We have all grapefruit flavors, so we’ll see if we can even tell the difference. But maybe it’s all marketing.

Taylin: 01:18 I Dunno. Yeah, I’ll find out. So I’m going to start it off with Stephen since he’s the designer to talk about the design

Stephen: 01:26 Up first. We’ve got Topo Chico. I haven’t looked at any of these lists. It’s gonna be on the fly and we’ve got a grapefruit flavor. We’ve got a green bottle. Kinda reminds me of a beer bottle.

Taylin: 01:39 It does look like I thought Heineken when I first saw it.

Stephen: 01:41 Yeah, I do like the color scheme. Green, yellow, pink ish for the grapefruit. It’s got a nice custom logo, kind of custom typography. I like that about it. Maybe, maybe I could go without the waves and the background. We’ll, we’ll put this up on the screen so you can really see what we’re talking about. But overall out of these three, this is maybe one of my favorite, it’s Kinda got this nice little badge. It feels a little bit more retro or vintage. And I like the topography and I liked the colors.

Taylin: 02:16 I think the one thing you said to me yesterday was you said it’s kind of weird because it’s green, but it’s grapefruit flavored and like, aren’t all the bottles the same color? Yeah. So they’re all green. So it’d be a lot harder to like pick out a flavor on a shelf. Right? It’s just these guys.

Stephen: 02:31 Yeah. So it might be easy to pick up the grapefruit when you were looking for the Lime or pick up the Lime when you’re looking for the grapefruit. But overall it’s nice and simple. There’s not much on it as far as copy goes.

Taylin: 02:45 Yeah, there was a little bit on the top. You said the twist twist of grapefruit. Which sentence sounds nice. Sounds refreshing.

Speaker 4: 02:52 Yeah,

Stephen: 02:54 There’s not much to work with here. It’s from Mexico, but I like it. Let’s look.

Taylin: 03:00 Let’s go to the next one.

Stephen: 03:01 Bubly. Pretty new to the scene. I think. I have enjoyed La Croix for many years and I had not had any Bubly until maybe last year and it definitely feels bubbly. Like if, you know, we’ve got these nice, this nice rounded typography, Kinda got the smiley thing going on. Pastel colors. I like the color. It makes me really think of the flavor of grapefruit. I like that about it. It’s pretty simple overall. It’s maybe a little bland for me. Like it feels, it feels like it would have been hitting a little harder a couple of years ago where it feels a little dated almost to me already. But I don’t know. You might not agree.

Taylin: 03:49 I guess when I think of it is I just, I love the little tidbits that they put on the top that just says like, hey you, that’s when you open it. It’s kind of got a little bit of personality I think. Yeah. I feel like for me this one has most personality is like really gets, it’s like kind of brand feel of being like bubbly cross. Yup.

Stephen: 04:10 I agree. It’s kind of perfect name to pair with the design to pair with the copy. I mean overall I think it, I think it does a good job of introducing a new brand of essentially it’s all the same stuff, right? We’ve got, we’ve got naturally flavored sparkling water and it feels very different than La Croix, which I’d say is probably its biggest competitor. Yeah. What do you think of La Croix or moving on? Yeah, I, I love it for how bad it is. I mean, it’s true. I flipped it. Oh No, we got a bunch of logos on here. This can is just so iconic to me. I don’t necessarily think it’s good, but I love it. I, I I love seeing it around, my friends have this on their swim trunks, a couple. They, I think she has the, the one piece and he’s got the trunks and they look good at the beach.

Taylin: 05:00 So I was doing like a little research and I found out, so La Croix’s started in Lacrosse, Wisconsin in the 80s. Oh, the qual for the fancy people. And then Bubly just came on the scene a couple of years ago from, I think it’s Pepsi-co. So it’s interesting to see that like their market has gone down as you know, more players have gotten into the game, but though they’re really big right now. This is like a couple of years ago, apparently things were taken off.

Stephen: 05:32 Specifically, White Claw. This’ll be fun. Cause I’ve had all of these, we’re going to taste them anyway, but I’ve never had one of these. I think I had a lime truly once. If I dig back in the memory bank, but don’t remember much about it, but I haven’t had these in there. All their age right now. It’s like summer of the claw.

Taylin: 05:50 Yes. 2019 yeah, so you might dammit Jeff [inaudible] technical difficulties.

Stephen: 06:03 Hello? You go to the beach. It’s like someone just cracking open their cooler, throwing claws to all their friends. It’s like a commercial. If you go to the beach right now,

Taylin: 06:11 I go back to my, like back to Minnesota this summer and my cousin literally would not stop saying no laws, but the claws too. I thought my cousin had an invented this line and then just kidding. It’s definitely like a huge cultural, like this utuber video. I forget. What was his name? Trevor Wallace.

Stephen: 06:35 That’s the one you sent me. Yeah. Yeah, it was pretty funny. Yeah. This guy’s just going off about all the things he’s like, takes a sip of regular water and he’s like, oh, water. Gross, gross. It’s pretty good. And cracks open the claw and it’s all this whole thing.

Taylin: 06:48 Well that’s been interesting because it’s so, it seems so organic, like the popularity of white claws, like social audiences kind of taken it and run with it. It’s become like this cultural thing kind of like Lacroix, like where you don’t see a lot of actual marketing. Right. It’s very, I guess I’ve never seen like a La Croix commercial. But the other one we have is Truly,

Stephen: 07:12 Yeah, we never talked about that. It’s like it just the claws so popular that truly just got the back seat.

Taylin: 07:17 Yeah. I think I, I’m trying to remember the numbers, but I think this has like 50% market share of seltzers. This one’s got about 20 and then there’s a third one which we couldn’t find at the store that’s got about like 5%

Stephen: 07:29 Paris in here. You know what? We just picked these up and this one is really cold and this one’s not very cold. I wonder if this one’s just so popular. It’s just flying off the shelf so they can’t keep it stacked. I’m so excited for you to try this for the first time

Taylin: 07:49 Addicted after this. Also we get to drink at like 10 30 in the morning at an interesting thing today.

Stephen: 07:58 Well if we’re just comparing these two, I don’t know. I don’t really like the design of either of them, but that’s just my personal preference. But kind of, they’re very similarly very similar color schemes. We’ve got black logo and typography on white cans. Maybe the Trulys a little nicer cause it’s just a little simpler but I don’t know. Yeah, I’m not really feeling either of them.

Taylin: 08:25 W what do you like more? Which one do I like? Oh okay. Let’s see. I do see this. It’s colder. This one’s nice and simple. And this one I think. Okay. So this is where it gets hard with Brandon because you get like influenced by memories and like what’s happening? Like memories. Yeah. Cause this reminds me of like my family union and then like being a friends cause I think they were wearing like no laws, put the clause or whatever. T-Shirts. Yeah. Like it’s just so influenced this summer, which is insane. Like, I think I liked this one more just because I know that it gets more popular. Maybe. I don’t know. Yeah, usually I don’t think that way, but the claws got me influenced. He hasn’t even tried it yet. Get excited. All right. Should we crack these things open? Or what question should she’s your favorite pink for the grapefruit. Just for the colors.

Taylin: 09:20 I almost feel like the Topo Chico, even though it’s very small, feels the most like a grapefruit. I’m really liking this little Croix like, yeah. Yeah. That’s nice too. That’s nice. I do like the color of this can like when you’re just cruising around with this color. That’s a nice, that’s a nice pink. Alright, so I think first let’s do sound test. Oh yeah. Did we figure out if this is twist? I Dunno. This might be the most embarrassing thing about, we got one, we got one. Yeah. But I just want to try to see if it is, nope. Nah, you might have to crack it. We don’t, little bit of prepping. Okay. You’re gonna listen. Pretty modest. Not a lot going on there. How’s the first sniff?

Speaker 5: 10:07 Okay.

Taylin: 10:09 Pretty good. Oh, great. For surprising. Yeah. Okay. And then nice crack. It’s listen, nice and loud. It really draws the ear in. Oten smell. It’s not cracked it. Oh, that’s better. Yeah. Okay, let’s go. Waft. That one’s like intense. Okay. And then we’ll save it. Ooh, that’s like a double try. My favorite one. They all smell weirdly. Grapefruity. Okay. We’re going to taste us these and then crack these. Okay.

Speaker 5: 10:55 .

Taylin: 10:56 [Inaudible] It’s refreshing. Bubbly. It’s great. Pretty. It’s definitely good. Super Steep. Snipe Freudian. Remind me. Drinking different ones. So just pick your favorite. Okay. That one’s way different. Yeah, this one’s a lot less. This one flavor is a lot more in your face and your mouth, I should say again. Oh,

Speaker 5: 11:35 We’ve got [inaudible].

Taylin: 11:41 I’m sure everyone on like listening to this right now is like what the, like I can hear things being drank. So speed this up a little bit here. Okay. So I’m going to go with the, my third one, which I don’t know what the dot correlates correlates with, but it’s one dot. So that’s cool. Whoa. I also have one that is my favorite, but [inaudible] and then I’m going to go, I’m going to rank them the least favorite as well. I think this is my second paper. Okay. Here’s my ranking. Favorite to least favorite. I’ve got one, three, two, one, three, two [inaudible].

Taylin: 12:28 The first one is got like the bubbles are finer, like for the carbonation and it’s sweeter and is a little bit less artificial tasting. And that’s my least favorite one is pretty artificial tasting and, and pretty strong. Yeah. I was gonna say the last one was really, really strong. I’m a little overbearing. Yeah. Agreed. First one was like the lightest and still had the flavor though. That’s good. Yeah. So what? All right, Jeff goes to run down here. Woo. So one oh, that was down to the favorite. Nice. Chico had done good. We got one round down, man. I could drink that all day. I sound like I listen to that bubble. Like very different than the other ones,

Speaker 5: 13:27 Huh?

Taylin: 13:28 Ah, a little less grapefruity a little more alcoholy I’m going to assume. Ready?

Speaker 6: 13:34 Okay.

Taylin: 13:37 Yeah, no difference. Okay. I can’t tell the difference. They sound exactly the same. Smell the difference. This one smells more. It just has a more of a [inaudible].

Speaker 5: 14:00 Okay.

Taylin: 14:01 No, I liked the ones without alcohol more. They’re a little bit more refreshing. They’re more refreshing kind of leaning towards this one. But let’s see, I think I have a favorite.

Speaker 5: 14:16 Yeah.

Taylin: 14:19 I like, I’m taking a lot bigger swings. These ones I don’t know about these things. I mean, maybe it’s context. Maybe I need to be on the beach, but yeah, that’s true. This is your first like sick. What are your thoughts overall of I tried to have a beer, I think so. I don’t know. I liked him, but I think I need to take one more taste just cause I, I can’t tell a difference. You can definitely tell that because the alcohol is made of sugar, that these are sweeter than just the waters. They’re definitely sweeter. I think I’m

Stephen: 14:52 Going to go with this one. Oh, that’s my favorite. Okay. Which is,

Speaker 5: 14:57 Yeah, I’ve got four. Yeah. Four or five

Stephen: 15:04 Truly. Well, okay. Wait, the clause, not the law.

Speaker 5: 15:09 Yeah. Broke. We broke the last,

Jeff: 15:13 Let’s review Top Chico was your

Jeff: 15:16 Favorite design, whatever. Just from a design standpoint, you seem to like the writing on it better. Yeah. Got, they got the personality across now and better, but ended up being your least, you say right, of the actual project because it was a lost art, a special tasting. But it’s Pepsi Coke, right? Yeah. I don’t know Sydney not to put them down. Yeah, definitely be our client if you want to be by like,

Stephen: 15:40 Well yeah, we’ll, we’ll send all these companies and invoice after this show. So yes.

Taylin: 15:46 Was there a takeaway from the, from that insight? I mean [inaudible]

Stephen: 15:50 Probably I’ve been buying since it came out because the copywriting is really interesting and fun and shows the personality. It’s this new look. It’s maybe a little bit more modern than the other ones. And I haven’t been buying it, but when it came down to taste is my least favorite. So I guess that you guys just goes to show that the marketing can definitely sell the product, whether it’s the best, the worst, the middle of the road, whatever, it doesn’t really matter. But the packaging definitely influences the buyer to choose which product to buy.

Taylin: 16:24 Yeah. And for me I think it’s just been so eye-opening just to see like what [inaudible] attaching memories to brand can do and how if you just get it in one base layer of society, like how much influence that can have. So

Stephen: 16:42 And with the white claw being like the most popular hard seltzer and neither of us thought it was the best in all of them. Between the three waters, I think these guys are pretty much the same. Those two are exactly the same. Probably was cheaper by, well they were both on sale so I don’t know what the new cost would be, but public was about 50 cents cheaper per 12 pack. And then Topo Chico I found as a single. But I think that is by far more expensive, cause I, I think the only way they sell it as a four pack for four or $5 or something like that. So you’re paying way more per unit. Yeah, it does look like the premium product there, which was nice to know that. Then the taste reflected the premium price for me anyway. [inaudible]

Speaker 5: 17:39 Oh, that’s good.

Stephen: 17:40 Yeah. What are they, let’s see. Come on. Give me a review here.

Speaker 5: 17:43 What do you think?

Taylin: 17:51 Does he really need the microphone? Yeah, I think it does. I think this is Truly better. So where’s your like, yeah, that’s a wrap. See you guys later. See you next time.

Speaker 1: 18:06 Yeah.