Monday, March 5, 2012

Great Value Liquid Drink Enhancer


I knew that it was only a matter of time before a rip-off of Kraft's MiO Liquid Water Enhancer was released into the market, and I am not particularly surprised that Wal-Mart is officially the first culprit. Store brand items are a fairly routine sight in our modern superstores, and, to be fair, Kraft was not the first company ever to release a liquid water enhancer. However, the store brand items found in today's stores are usually just generic versions of already generic and "non-ownable" products. No one company can own rice, for example, and it is perfectly legitimate for a grocery store to offer their own inexpensive variety of rice. However, something as specific as Kraft's MiO seems like it should be pretty far out of the purview of the generic repackaging machine. It seems inappropriate to copy such a distinct product, but apparently it is a task that is not beyond the reach of Wal-Mart's grasping claws.


There's no point in skirting the issue for the sake of objectivity here: Great Value's liquid water enhancer is one of the most blatant rip-offs that I've seen in a while. For all practical purposes, everything about this product is exactly the same as the original counterpart. Aside from some obvious minor differences in the shape and color of the bottle and the graphic on the label, everything is pretty much identical, even down to the ingredients and the number of servings per bottle. Even some of the flavors are the same, with Great Value even going as far as to offer two "energy" versions of the enhancer, as well as a vitamin-enhanced orange flavor. Honestly, it's just shameless, and I really want to dislike this product out of principal. But I can't, for one very good reason.

Grape.

As much as I don't want to admit it, Great Value's grape flavored water enhancer is excellent. In fact, I would even risk saying that I like it better than most of the MiO flavors, aside from perhaps orange tangerine. I'm not entirely sure why I like Great Value's grape flavor so much, as it tastes like that artificial, candy-grape flavor that I usually don't like very much in beverages. But there's just something right about it. Great Value really nailed the formula. I also think that it might have something to do with the fact that I generally tend to enjoy singular artificial flavors as opposed to a mixture of various flavorings. I feel that as the complexity of an artificial taste increases, so does its apparent artificiality. In other words, individual artificial flavors just tend to not taste as artificial to me, somehow. 

So, like I said above, I don't want to offer my support of a product that is such an obvious abuse of reverse-engineering, but I can't deny that the grape flavor is pretty great. However, I still think that MiO is, on the whole, a better beverage. MiO's bottle is a lot more sturdy, and the lid closes much more securely, making it a safer choice if you intend to carry your enhancer around with you. Also, the variety of flavors offered by Kraft is better on average than Great Value's range (I've also tried Great Value's orange flavor, and it's not very good), and I feel like it's harder to go wrong when picking a MiO flavor. But still, as much as I hate to say it, give the grape a try.

Verdict: Worth a try

Purchased: Wal-Mart [Greenwood, SC]
Size: 1.62 fl. oz. [48mL, 24 servings per bottle]
Price: $2.68

17 comments:

  1. the grape is insane, the southern sweet tea tastes real good too, throw in a lemon and youre all set. but that grape, mmmm

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  2. For the money minded, Great Value also saves you that dollar. And one flavor comes to mind that surprises me Mio does not have: Cherry Limeade. Wow, my favorite! Sort of wish they had a non-energy version, but it helps me stay awake for my desk job and it has more servings than the Mio energy as well.

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  3. I love MiO, I do NOT love the $5.29 price I pay for it at WalMart. I will absolutely support Great Value or any other knock-off brand if it's going to save me $3 a pop and still tastes good. I haven't compared all flavors yet and they don't have the exact same flavors. I tend to split my crystal light lemonade packets in half for a 64oz bottle and use the MiO or Great Value version to kick it up a little, In the long run this helps me make all versions last longer/go further. IMO if MiO is a superior product then they deserve the extra cash for it. If the two products are essentially the same, then it's an "obvious abuse" of price gouging and I'll leave MiO on the shelf.

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    1. if you paid 5.29,you got ripped off,its not but 1.00 more than great value brand.

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  4. Thanks for the comment, Rosie. But may I ask, where are you shopping that is charging %5.29 for MiO? Almost all of the stores that I've been in sell MiO for somewhere around $3.50. Over five dollars is a lot for MiO, I agree. But I can assure you, that's not the standard price.

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  5. How did that percent sign sneak in there?

    I meant $5.29, obviously.

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  6. I picked up 3 of the great value brands because I didn't want to pay extra just for a pretty bottle. I have to say the lighting green energy one is TERRIBLE!! I tried one sip & was completely disgusted. The strawberry kiwi one I love & it really gives me energy plus convinces me to drink more water. I have the cherry limeaid but have yet to try it. Overall I'm quite happy there is a cheaper version out there! And I will be buying it again.

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  7. These are really good! My favorite is the raspberry lemonade flavor. I did find, though, that the suggested amount of one squirt just isn't enough. I use about 3 squirts in a big glass of water. That is just my personal preference, though.

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  8. Trying to find out if these contain caffeine? Specifically the Sport. I don't think that the regular flavors contain caffeine, at least the 4C Totally Light doesn't except for the "Energy" which contains 60 mgs, same as a small cup of coffee.

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  9. Does the knock off give you that horrible numb sensation on your tongue and lips that Mio does? I really like the taste of Mio, but hate that numb sensation afterwards so wanted to try other brands to see if I could find one without that.

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  10. Well.....I like the strawberry watermelon EXCEPT for it stained my brand new $40 jacket permanently. I'm sooo angry that I won't be buying it again. Why can't it have water based coloring? Fyi, I've heard "someone" came out with a "clear" drink enhancer. Obviously others have had this staining issue.....

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  11. This stuff made me I'll. I became bloated, nauseated and had all over joint pain. Sheesh what's in this stuff?

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  12. I would respectfully submit that it is a generic product type (like rice) that cannot be 'owned'. There are many 'brands' of bottled water and flavored water on the market. The idea of selling flavored water without the water (enhancers) is creative and novel but it is not a 'patentable' idea - just a condensed product delivery methodology not unlike concetrated laundry detergent.

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    1. Agree 100%. Besides which, grocery store brands have been around forever. It's not necessarily a case of reverse engineering or ripping off anyone. It could very well be made by the same company as MiO and repackaged for sale in Walmart stores. In fact I see the very same bottle as Great Value (same shape/color) sold under other store brand names. Big food manufacturers do this ALL THE TIME, they make more money that way.

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  13. This is the most ridiculous blargh post I've seen to date. You're seriously getting bent out of shape over this? This happens all the time. Everywhere. I can't go on. You won't listen. This is unreal.

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  14. The point of Great Value is to give you a cheaper version of the original. It's not a 'rip off.' It's designed to save you money and still get a good product.

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  15. is their anything in the great value brand that would make it bad on your diet ?

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