We’ve been on a tear with pediatric electrolyte beverages recently, so I feel like we should continue that trend. Any objections? Good.
This time we’re going to look at one of Kroger’s offerings. This one captured my attention because of the semi-unique flavor combination: Cherry punch. There’s cherry, and then there’s fruit punch, but you don’t usually see a combination of both. At least, that’s what I’m assuming this blend is.
This one is under the “Advantage Care” sublabel, which is a takeoff on the national brand’s “AdvancedCare” line. What’s the difference between “regular” and “advanced”? That’s a good question that I had to look up myself. Apparently the “upgraded version” contains probiotics for digestive health, as well as zinc and selenium (which I’m assuming is the “chloride” on the nutrition label), two vitamins that probably don’t do much. But, you know, marketing! The more vitamins they can cram on the label, the better.
I could swear these used to cost more than “regular” varieties, but now the price has evened out a little bit. Whether you choose “regular” or “advanced”, you’re looking at the same $3.69 price tag for the same 33.8 oz. bottle size. Not too shabby.
The taste is…okay, the taste is actually pretty good. For some reason, I was pretty skeptical heading in, figuring this would taste like syrupy junk. But it doesn’t. It actually tastes like the cherry-fruit punch mix I initially alluded to. The cherry flavor is candylike, but not as sweet, while the “punch” steps in to deliver an additional glob of unidentifiable fruit flavors. Whatever the fruits are doesn’t matter, because the combination as a whole goes down easy. There’s that familiar “salty” hit to the tastebuds, thanks to the high sodium content (which supposedly helps with hydration), but it doesn’t detract from the flavor.
And sure enough, I can feel the zinc and chloride kicking in! Okay, not really, but I suppose they can’t hurt any.
This is a pretty solid win for the uninspiring supermarket chain. It’s a product that tastes and “performs” just as well as the national brand, but for about $1.50 less. What’s not to like about that? Besides having to go to Kroger to get it, of course.
Overall: 8.5/10. Color me impressed with this one. I thought Kroger would let me down, like they tend to do every time I enter one of their stores. But this is a solid combination of value and performance. The $3.69 price (not on sale) is on par with similar private label offerings from other retailers, and it does taste like an inviting combination of cherry and fruit punch. There’s the familiar “salt” flavor that’s a staple of these brands, but it does nothing to detract from the overall taste. This “Advantage Care” version of Kroger’s pediatric electrolyte line of beverages also adds zinc and chloride to the vitamin list. Are those really necessary? I have my suspicions, but considering it costs the same as their “regular” electrolyte drinks, then who cares? This is definitely worth a look.
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