One of the most important point o any new energy drink is a good hook – one that separates itself from the hundreds of other energy drinks out there in the market today. One interesting angle that has not really been pushed now is the idea of a “local” energy drink, one where the entire process from manufacture to marketing is solely based on the state it resides.
This is the angle for 5280 energy drink, made by and for Coloradans. For those who have never been to the Mile High City, Denver is 5280 feet above sea level, not because of the new marijuana laws ( although that fits the moniker too). One of the big selling points about 5280 is that it is Colorado made, colorado produced and sold in the state only – so unlike big national brands that are made here in Colorado (Vuka, Go Fast, Bing, Boa, Recon, Bazi and others), it is not only a local business, but all the money for the drink stays in the state.
So for all that hype about being local, I would have expected a whole lot more than a plastic wrapped energy drink can. Maybe this was all left over from a party at the Denver Chamber of Commerce, where it is obvious they ripped off their logo from.
Rather than spend actual money to get a professionally done can, 5280 went for a plastic wrapped variety – a cheaper form of packaging than an actual printing job – so it is akin to those Happy Bunny and other novelty energy drink cans you find at Hot Topic and RocketFizz , usually churned out by Boston America. This is one of the cheapest forms of energy drink packaging, and can easily be picked out by having the label easily peeled off the can. It is hard to be taken seriously when you don’t even spring for a real printing job and just go for the novelty drink wrap.
I have some real problems with the wrap too. The font choices are a little silly, using an XTREME font for some of the writing, futuristic writing for other parts, a fat futura font for the logo, and a super stretched slogan at the bottom in yet another font. While The design is fun for a Colorado themed drink, I would LOVE to see what would happen if this was brought to one of colorado’s professional design agencies and let a real package designer come up with something. Not to mention, one of my most important pet peeves – there is no listing of how much caffeine is in this 8 ounce can.
Big Surprise, its another Red Bull clone. It is not a particularly good one – and reminds me of the hundreds and hundreds of other Red Bull cones that have flooded the market over the last decade. 5280 tastes like any other energy drink wannabe company asked a drink manufacturer to bottle their standard energy drink flavor in a can and call it a day. I seriously doubt anyone at this company even tasted the drink until it came to them already done and packaged up in cases.
There are SO MANY THINGS you could do to make this drink special and unique to colorado in the ingredients. How about using Rocky Mountain ayer – like Coors, or fresh ingredients sourced locally? How about dumping the crappy Red Bull flavorings for something local – like Palisade Peach or Grand Junction Grape? Instead, going for a knockoff flavor off the shelf is a HUGE copout.
Because of the cheap 8 ounce can and the knockoff flavor, it is pretty easy to guess that the energy ingredients are off-the-shelf too, so I expect there are 65-80mg of caffeine in the can, which is sort of the standard for private label energy drink cans like this. If you were going to get novelty energy drink cans for a Bar Mitzvah and got a stock energy drink flavor, this is pretty much exactly what you would get – and those all have a very small caffeine and energy boosting ingredient level. Sure, if you pound 4 of these cans you are going to feel it, but the same holds true for drinking several hundreds of calories of any soda.
If you are in denver and looking for a tourist drink to send home to your kids – there are so many better ones out there from Colorado to choose from. The only real benefit to this drink that I can see is that if you are passing through the state and hit a truck stop – getting a can of 5280 is a bit more funny than getting a crappy postcard.