Review: Mad Tasty CBD-Infused Sparkling Water
Los Angeles-based Mad Tasty, founded by Grammy winning singer-songwriter Ryan Tedder, makes a line of sparkling waters infused with broad spectrum hemp extract.
Available in three flavors — Grapefruit, Watermelon Kiwi and Unicorn Tears — Mad Tasty’s offerings live up to their name. They are fizzy and flavorful, but all three products leave an intense feeling of dry mouth after just a few sips (a common characteristic of CBD drinks).
Packaged in 12 oz. cans, each Mad Tasty SKU contains 20mg of CBD and is sugar-free. Grapefruit and Unicorn Tears have just 5 calories, while the Watermelon Kiwi flavor has 15 calories.
In our view, Grapefruit is the star of the show. It has a strong citrus flavor and an almost lemonade-like tang. However, this SKU in particular had a subtle pithy bitterness and each sip left an unmistakable dry mouth feeling that lingered long after each drink.
On the sweeter end of the spectrum, Watermelon Kiwi is reminiscent of the Airheads candy from your childhood. It is well-balanced and has a bubblegum-like nose, which makes it super drinkable.
Lastly, the actual flavor of Unicorn Tears was tough to nail down. It had a hint of strawberry that dissipated quickly as the taste of hemp extract took over on the finish. Compared to the other two SKUs, this was our least favorite. While some consumers might appreciate the discovery element of a “mystery flavor,” this just felt like a blend of Grapefruit and Watermelon Kiwi.
From a branding perspective, the label design is definitely eye-catching. We appreciate the mixtape vibes of the “Mad Tasty” text and the amoeba-like backdrop which feels like a nod to the late artist Keith Haring.
However, when it comes to formulation, Mad Tasty doesn’t offer any other functional ingredients beyond CBD. That makes this product somewhat one dimensional, and we’d like to see some additional innovation or line extensions that feature other additives.
In terms of pricing, $5 per can (online) is going to be tough for many consumers to justify. Repeat purchases will be limited until pricing is lowered, especially when, for example, you can get 5X the amount of total CBD from a package of Charlotte’s Web CBD gummies for roughly the same price.
Overall, Mad Tasty is a high-quality product and one of the better tasting hemp-infused drinks we’ve sampled to date. We appreciate that it has a higher dosage of CBD than several of its competitors, and we look forward to the continued evolution of this product and the CBD drinks category as a whole.