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Can we keep even more flavors coming, please?

Natureplex Fruit Punch Hydrating Electrolyte Drink (Dollar Tree)

I have reviewed Dollar Tree pediatric electrolyte drinks in the past, and was actually blown away by the price-to-quality ratio. In fact, I believe I called it “one of the best deals inside Dollar Tree,” or something of the sort. Well now we not only have a brand new flavor that I’ve never seen before, from a new brand, but also a brand new container!

The new flavor addition is fruit punch, which is always my favorite flavor of anything. The bottle, which used to be small and wide, has essentially been “smashed”: It’s now thin and stretches up vertically. My initial thought was that this was done as a clever way to mask a smaller bottle; much to my surprise, it’s still the same 16.9 ounces of liquid that they’ve always carried. I actually think I prefer this new bottle iteration. Its thin frame doesn’t take up much space, so it will fit in standard cupholders. I’d also imagine it would fit in backpacks and other containers a little easier, too. Not that the small, wide bottles were all that bulky, but this is akin to soda bottles, giving it a more familiar form factor. 

First of all, I may be an idiot, but just getting to the actual liquid is quite a laborious process. First, there’s the plastic wrap on the top of the lid. That wasn’t too bad since it’s pre-scored. Under the lid is another seal atop the bottle, so that has to be peeled off. Well, I’m assuming the top seal didn’t peel off correctly, because then I was met with a thin, plastic piece of film that was the last obstacle between me and liquid goodness. It was simple enough that I just had to poke my finger through it, but the whole process is oddly in-depth for a beverage. Did people put anthrax in kids’ electrolyte drinks at some point? Why all the extra security measures? Hell, there are medicines that don’t require as many hoops to jump through.

Once I deactivated the alarm system and used a detonator to break off the top seal, I eagerly dove right in.

Oh yeah, this continues Dollar Tree’s impressive lineup of electrolyte beverages. I’m not sure I’ve ever had the name brand flavor version of this, but it offers up pretty much exactly what I was expecting. The fruit punch is fake as all hell and very sweet. It tastes nothing at all like actual fruit punch, but it’s close enough for what it is. The sweetness is at least partially balanced out by a “salty” taste. This is common in these drinks, as the sodium supposedly helps to replace sweat and other liquids that may seep out during heavy physical activity. There is also a slight “syrupiness” to the texture, which is also expected; it’s a texture even present in the name brand. When all is said and done, this is about in line with every other pre-bottled electrolyte beverage I’ve ever had.

What sets these apart, as I’ve mentioned before, is the price: Just $1.25 per 16.9 oz. bottle. I know what you’re thinking: But the name brand bottles are much larger! Actually, they’re 33.8 ounces, meaning it takes just two of these to equal one of those. So, for $2.50 you get the same amount of electrolyte-fueled power that costs $4 almost everywhere else. 

I don’t know how they do it, but I’m glad they do. Even with the quarter price hike, these are still one of the best deals to be found inside the Tree. 

Overall: 10/10. Another fantastic entrant into Dollar Tree’s line of pediatric electrolyte beverages. The fruit punch flavor is expectedly fake as all hell, but that’s standard of these drinks. It’s sweet, with a slightly syrupy texture, but adds a light blast of saltiness to help replenish the sweat and bodily fluids exerted during heavy activity. Or after drunken nights out. At least, supposedly. It’s about in line with similar beverages in terms of taste and texture, but the $1.25 retail price makes this an almost required buy. With a shelf life of three years, you might as well stock up for the next time you or a loved one are sick, or just as an occasional alternative to water when that gets too boring.

NOTE: There is no private label branding anywhere on the bottle. I discovered it was manufactured by Natureplex via a search of the label. They are the same company that makes their (rather excellent) anti-fungal cream, as well as other first-aid ointments and products.

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