Pom Wonderful's Pomegranate Tea

The pomegranate people mix their bitter but popular juice with black tea for a hybrid that tasters found to be Wonderful.

By Hollis Ashman and Jacqueline Beckley, Consumer Understanding Editors

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On the back panel is discussion of the keepsake glass and the dose of potent polyphenols and other antioxidants and their link to heart health. The glass is a "gift" from the folks at Pom. It also suggests sippability and new rituals for cold RTD tea that do not occur with other bottled teas.

The beverage is a deep pink red color - while rich in color, it's much lighter than full-strength pomegranate juice. The flavor is tart and sweet at the same time. The blend of pomegranate and tea astringency can cause one to pause for a moment and enjoy the immediate taste recall. The taste is not typical of tea or juice. A faint sweetness is present. The aftertaste is tart yet pleasant and creates lightness about the beverage. The aroma, fruity and strong, is apparent, since your nose is inside the glass. That's something that is not possible with a traditional bottle.

While the glass is very easy to drink from, the initial removal of the cap is not. Some of our tasters had trouble with the lid, and a few splashed the product around. But the lack of the ridges was appreciated by all. "Finally" and "I hope there are more beverages in bottles like this, I hate those ridges!" were a few of the comments.

The overall impression of Pom tea is of a lightly flavored juice. This is not your traditional cold tea, but an easily consumed beverage that is refreshing and slightly luxurious.

Does the product deliver?

Pom as a brand is promising a high level of naturally occurring antioxidants from pomegranate juice (an antioxidant superstar). While consumers have to read the nutritional labels to determine if they are getting antioxidants, the product does deliver a set of healthy, refreshing cues that speak to the power of juice, fruit and tea.

One lingering question is, what is the right level of antioxidants that consumers need today? Pom does not answer this, but provides reassurances there is enough in the beverage.

The lightness of the flavor and the type give this product a lot of day-part range. The flavor, design of the container and the aroma puts this beverage clearly in a set of choices beyond simple tea.

How to make the idea bigger: This brand has worked hard to become familiar. It is shelved with produce, so assumes many of the healthy associations of fresh fruits and vegetables. This is different, but in a fruity, healthy way.

As one of us drank the beverage, we wondered how many equivalent fruit servings were in the glass. Since many consumers are not getting enough fruits and vegetables and the Resnicks are funding a lot of research, this should be on their to-do list.

The clever crafting of product, package and messaging intrigues. The first product in a Westwood, Calif., grocery store in 2002 was unmissable. This product rises to the same standard. If you go to the web site (www.pomwonderful.com/pom TeaHome.html), the glass even "sweats" as you read the copy!

Rating: This product is great. It is sweet and leverages familiar flavors. It encourages people who have fear of strong, unfamiliar food (pomegranates) to experiment. The package brings in the use of aroma and suggests rituals other competitors cannot access.

Market potential: High. The product will connect with the targeted user group and expand to others through word of mouth. Great for the brand, great for the fruit and a wonderful innovative twist on the familiar.

Hollis Ashman is chief strategist and Jacqueline Beckley is president of the Understanding & Insight Group, a strategy, business and product development firm that connects with consumers using qualitative and quantitative approaches. For more information, see www.theuandigroup.com.
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