By: Keegan Cantrell
If you’re like me, and millions of others for that matter, you like energy drinks. Tasty, carbonated, liquid “go” in a can.
Energy drinks have pulled my lifeless exhausted body across the finish line of many school, work and personal deadlines more times than I can count. Coffee may be the choice of many (I do enjoy my coffee as well) but there is a reason people love energy drinks, they’re delicious.
My first foray into these unique beverages, was in fact Rockstar. The original striking black and yellow can caught my eye at a friend’s house in the long-ago time of 2005. It was beginning of my sophomore year of high school and my friend’s mom had purchased him a case for a birthday game-a-thon we were about to embark on. I asked him what they were.
“Dude. What is in that black can?”
“Bro, it’s a Rockstar.”
“Bro. An energy drink.”
“Dude, what is an energy drink?”
“Broooooo. Just take one. They’re all I drink.”
(Yes fellow kids this was actually how my friends and I talked back then, but I assure you there was more awkward teenage giggling and even more “dude’s” thrown in there than I can care to annotate.)
For many the original energy drinks were an acquired taste. When they first hit the market the telltale energy concoction was not a subdued flavor and some even described it as “medicinal” and “vitamin.”
Casuals. They didn’t understand. The flavor was aggressive, yet smooth and satisfying at the same time. As soon as that first sip caressed my taste buds, I was hooked. A soda with a wicked kick that was easy to drink and would keep me dialed all night long? I was mad this product hadn’t been invented sooner.
Of course, the eventual naysayers were silenced as the popularity of energy drinks exploded over the next few years. They were here to stay.
Rockstar saw a 155% increase in sales in 2004 and by 2008 they were one of the top 3 energy drinks in North America. By 2009 they were in 20 countries.
What makes Rockstar great is their ability to adapt to changing tastes and experiment with new flavors. I never did like Monster, and although I might enjoy a Redbull from time to time, I always come back to Rockstar, because every time I tire of a flavor something new would come pop up on shelves I could get excited about again.
People know the brands they like and when experiences are good they’ll keep coming back.
Rockstar gets this. Which is why over the last 10 years there have been atleast 75 different flavors to hit the market. 30 of which are still active. Not such an easy feat in either metric.
That says a lot about not being afraid to try new things. Personally, I’ve never tried a flavor I thought was bad. I’ve had almost every single flavor to hit the market, (except for the Canadian exclusives) many I fell in love with, only to have them disappear to make room for something different.
Remember Rockstar Energy Cola? Why must good things die so young? (There was an active Facebook page and movement asking for it’s return for a while.)
Much like recent trends seen in beer, rotating flavors are expected.
I can think of a lot of breweries that brew wildly different beers on a regular basis, yet I can pick many out in a blind taste test because great brands have consistency.
It’s not random, it’s a concerted focus on keeping things fresh. That focus is what allows a brand like Rockstar to produce 75 different flavors and yet all still taste like a Rockstar.
Most recently my go to flavor has been the Organic – Island Fruit. I really dig the light earthy guava profile and it’s certainly one of the easiest of the flavors to drink.
The new Organic flavor series is made with cane sugar, organic green coffee beans, and carries the light green “USDA Organic” logo on the side of the can (or BIO in Europe).
For the last few years it was a series of one. Until now that is, as Rockstar and CSB is excited to announce the newest flavor, Rockstar Organic Strawberry to the energy drink lineage.
As I sit here writing I am currently sipping on a can of the new Organic Strawberry. (Not on displays yet. Perk of the job.)
And again, I am pleasantly surprised. I was already a fan of the island fruit flavor so you would think that a new Organic would be an instant win, but I’ve never been a strawberry flavor kind of guy and that is the truth.
Love strawberries, can’t stand strawberry flavored beverages.
So I can say with certainty that Rockstar has done an excellent job of bridging the gap between particular folks such as myself, and those who already enjoy strawberry in their drinks.
Much like the Island Fruit (Guava) flavor, the strawberry is reasonably subdued and blends in nicely to the overall brighter and lighter taste that the organic series imparts, albeit slightly sweeter than the former. Producing a pleasant, aftertaste not overly tangy or strawberry-y.
Meaning for anyone who is a fan of energy drinks I certainly recommend you track one down and try it for yourself.
So be on the lookout for Organic Strawberry on the shelves soon and hopefully another 75 excellent flavors in the future.