Push down on the pod to release the flavor Kraken

The inescapable feeling I got upon receiving my Drinkfinity package was that its parent company PepsiCo was trying too hard. Drinkfinity feels like your dad spinning a baseball cap backwards and suddenly beatboxing in some misguided attempt to connect with you on the way to soccer practice.

Which is too bad because independent of that, Drinkfinity is actually pretty good.

Basically, it’s a way to create flavored drinks. You buy a special “Vessel” (ugh) that comes with a piercer on top. You then buy special flavor pods that you press down on the piercer to transform your water into a colorful beverage.

You can see why PepsiCo is trying this out. Soda sales are declining as people turn away from sugary drinks and a raft of natural upstarts like LaCroix are taking market share.

The company is also really pushing a conscious capitalism type of message with Drinkfinity. The pod-infused drinks range from 30 to 80 calories (though some still contain 11 to 17g of sugar). PepsiCo says the reusable vessel and smaller sized pods use up to 65 percent less plastic than a 20 oz. ready-to-drink bottle, and you can recycle the pods via mail.

I ordered the “One for Me” bundle, which came with the Vessel plus four flavor packs (each containing four pods) for $35. Fill the Vessel with water, pick your flavor, push the pod down on the top of the bottle and shake. I tried Pomegranate Ginger Flow and Oatberry Flow, and of the two, Oatberry Flow — which includes whole oat flour — tasted better. Additional four packs of pods cost between $5.95 and $6.50 (so roughly $1.50 per drink).

But it’s when you examine the flavor pods that you can start to see Pepsi turn its hat backwards and slide in the Biz Markie cassette. Flavors are grouped into modes like “Charge,” “Flow,” and “Chill” depending on whether you want to energize or relax or, one presumes, hang with Poochie.

Popping the flavor pod, you can almost hear the Pepsi marketing department say “millennials love to chill.”

Then there is the name, Drinkfinity. I can’t won’t bring myself to say it out loud.

Again, this is too bad because, despite all the over marketing, I kinda like Drinkfinity. The water bottle’s a good size, and features a magnetic holder to keep the lid in place. The two pods I tried were pretty tasty. And I like the idea of having a bunch of drink choices taking up a small footprint in my pantry.

But then again, I’m a bit older (and a dad), and this product is clearly not aimed at me. Which is fine, though perhaps I’ll re-up my initial flavor pod order when I’m done with this set. Beatboxing can leave you pretty dehydrated.

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  1. If you were intrigued by Drinkfinity you should check out Cirkul (DrinkCirkul.com). Same concept but smoother, and in my opinion better delivery system.

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