Because you asked us, Canadian Packaging has a taste test of a pair of Nestea products.
Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada was nice enough to send Canadian Packaging a few samples of their new Nestea iced tea drinks: Natural Blackcurrant Flavour and Natural Blueberry Mint Flavour—two beverages that were launched nationally in Canada in January of 2015.
Even without tasting it, we first looked towards the labeling to see what each contained. Force of habit, or is that what consumers do on a regular basis? If not, why not?
Each of the plastic bottle drinks received at Canadian Packaging contained 500mL of the refreshing beverage made with real tea. However, each is also available in 12-packs of 355mL cans.
The bottles are manufactured by Amcor from PET plastics (Polyethylene terephthalate), while the labels and caps are also recyclable materials. CSI Closure produces the caps.
According to Coca-Cola, the response to the new flavors has been great, with consumers finding them to be a great addition to the Nestea brand portfolio.
Rather than provide the confusing ‘serving’ data, the nutritional information was clearly marked for the actual 500mL contents.
Natural Blackcurrant Flavour
Fat/ Lipides: 0g
Sodium: 130mg (5% Daily value)
Carbohydrate/Glucides: 38g (13% Daily value)
Natural Blueberry Flavour
Fat/ Lipides: 0g
Sodium: 105mg (4% Daily value)
Carbohydrate/Glucides: 27g (9% Daily value)
At first glance, it appears that for those who need to be careful about their intake of calories, salts and sugars – the Natural Blueberry Mint Flavour is the more palatable option.
It certainly lacked that bouquet of fruit that was present when we opened a bottle of the Blackcurrant drink, but the Natural Blueberry Mint flavor certainly held its own in the flavor category.
If you are purchasing Nestea not because of its unique and tasty flavor profiles, but because you believe it is a healthier lifestyle choice—wait.
Coca-Cola Zero, for example would, on the outset, appear to be a healthier choice—data via a 500 mL bottle:
Sodium: 40mg (2% Daily value)
Total Carbs: 0g
It contains: Carbonated water, caramel color, phosphoric acid, aspartame, potassium benzonate, natural flavors, potassium citrate, acesulfame potassium, caffeine—with the aspartame and acesulfame potassium being two artificial sweeteners.
Which do you want now? An iced tea flavor or a cola flavor?
The way to look at it, is that Nestea beverages are indeed iced tea drinks and even homemade versions are sweet.
The point of contention really, is whether or not one likes the Nestea flavors. Canadian Packaging tasters did.
Natural Blueberry Mint Flavour
Despite the slight bitterness of the mint, it actually helps cut back some of the sweetness one would expect from a blueberry. The mint actually seemed to provide—even subconsciously—a fresh feeling in the mouth.
Natural Blackcurrant Flavour:
Heady aroma of blackcurrant when first opened, sweeter in taste and had a darker golden color that was more reminiscent of tea than the Blueberry Mint product.
Note: Nutritional data for the same product may vary in different countries. Flavor profiles might even be slightly different thanks to water sources or even ingredients used.
Both the Nestea Natural Blueberry Mint Flavour and the Natural Blackcurrant Flavour were launched as permanent additions to the Nestea portfolio.
Coca-Cola in Canada is represented by Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada and Coca-Cola Ltd. For more information, visit www.coca-cola.ca or www.thecoca-colacompany.com.