You are currently viewing Kroger Refresh Lemonade Drink Mix Sticks (Kroger)
Nothing notable, nothing offensive.

Kroger Refresh Lemonade Drink Mix Sticks (Kroger)

I’ve reviewed enough drink mix sticks to avoid the feeling that I have to preface reviews with a long-winded intro. To summarize for you new readers (which is virtually everyone), I do not like the taste of plain water. Well, I guess I can’t say I don’t like the taste, because there is none. So I guess I hate the nothingness of plain water. I like satisfaction. My taste buds like taking a beating. Which is why I like having some of these on hand at all times. I may be pumping my body full of unnecessary chemicals, but hey, don’t we all anyway? If I’m going to die quicker, I might as well enjoy the flavors of life along the way. 

Fit & Active’s lemonade version is one of my favorite out of all that I’ve tried. Despite being sugar-free – as all of them are, to my knowledge – theirs somehow manages to taste like a lemon shake-up. It’s tart, it’s super sweet, and it’s even better than some sugared powders. I don’t know how they do it, but do it they do. 

As a reviewer, I feel that I’m supposed to go into each review as unbiased as possible. But sometimes, you just can’t. When you’ve had one of the best examples of something, it’s hard to settle for something lesser. It might be unfair, but it’s just a part of human nature. With that in mind, Kroger’s powdered version of lemonade has some big shoes to fill.

When mixed in water, it results in a bright yellow hue. It’s pretty accurate to real lemonade, which gets things off to a good start. It also smells predominantly of lemon. That’s always a good thing. There are some additional secondary scents that are a little fakey, but nothing that would cause any hesitation. And also not anything too out of place for a powdered beverage made almost entirely out of chemicals.

This experience is about what I expected. It’s a good example of an “average” lemonade. The flavor starts off slightly sweet, then a bright, lemony flavor kicks in. Right after that, a generous helping of “tart” swoops in to finish it all off. The sour is fairly pronounced, eventually standing front and center over everything else. It’s the kind that gives you that mucusy buildup in the back of the throat after a few sips. That means this probably isn’t going to interest those who prefer their lemonade to have more sugar than lemons. That isn’t necessarily bad; like most things in life, it’s all just a matter of personal preference.

But there’s also a slightly off-kilter taste that occasionally sneaks its way through. It’s somewhat akin to the way lemon cleaner smells. As weird as it may sound, it’s a profile similar to other powdered mixes I’ve had. It’s typically a “feature” of the more “extreme” artificial drinks and powders; in the worst examples, it stands in the spotlight as the main flavor. Thankfully, it’s not nearly that pronounced here. Instead, it just lingers on the border, occasionally bobbing in long enough to remind you it’s there, before giving way to the more “realistic” lemonade experience. 

As with most things from Kroger, the value is only average: Each 10-count package retails for $2.19. That’s about a quarter more than similar offerings from Aldi and Walmart, but is still within a “reasonable” price range. 

Overall: 5.5/10. This is a decent drink mix, although nothing outstanding in any regard. The flavor is mostly accurate, with an emphasis on “sour” versus “sweet. That might be of more interest to those put off by sweeter powdered versions. Kroger’s version does come with a slight hint of “lemon cleaner” artificiality lingering in the background. It’s not pronounced enough to be alarming, but it creeps in often enough to remind you it’s there. Value is reasonable but certainly nothing notable, with each 10-count package retailing for $2.19 (when not on sale). Come to think of it, “nothing notable” is also a good way to describe the product as a whole. 

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