Posted November 10, 2009 by bigredboots in straight up energy drink

MC2 Berry Blue Energy drink

After working in the industry for 40 years, Hugh L. White (not the U.S. Senator from Tennessee) got tired of just distributing drinks and decided to make some. He was the vice president and general manager of Warrenton Products, a plant in Warren County that has been bottling and canning beverages for 29 years. “I’m older than dirt,” says White, who started his beverage company at 63 years old. Regardless of age, he pursued his lifelong dream, and started RoubiDoux Beverage Co, in Warrenton MI. They created a whole line of drinks from soda and tea drinks to these energy drink cans.

These Roubidoux energy drinks were not a little disappointing, they were bottom-line bad. The only thing about this drink worth mentioning is the flavor, which really rocks. I found a can of this drink that was produced in 2005 stuck to the back of a convenience store cooler, covered in years-old grime, dirt and dried energy drink. I took home my little find, washed it up and inspected for holes. Fortunately, most energy drinks are made with more preservatives than a Twinkie, so I not really that worried about freshness (although all those preservatives I AM SURE are great for my system).

Now I know I this stayed fresh, because the taste was out of this world! I was expecting a Red Bull clone from the lack of care about the packaging, but this Berry Blue held up very very well over the years. There was still enough carbonation for taste, and the berry flavor was not just a one-note raspberry. I tasted lots of other very complex berry flavors and absolutely no tartness or gummyness. Enough so that I was surprised to find out there was no real juice inside. After drinking this down, I felt saddened I would probably not ever find another. But more on that later.

And this is where it really started letting me down. Although it tasted great, this was about as strong as an average soda, coming in at 50 mg of caffeine in 8.4 ounces. Sure, there is 1 gram of taurine, some inositol and a few B vitamins, but the main energy ingredient in here is High Fructose Corn Syrup and sugars – a good 27mg per 8 ounce can. This syrupy concoction will wake you up about as much a “EYE OPENING LIQUID POWER BAR” as much as grabbing a Mountain Dew.

The drink package is definitely the worst part of the drink. a few things are very nice – being the basic logo and their icon of Atlas holding the world. Energy, Power and strength is what energy drinks are all about. Everything else though, is utter fail. The bold Helvetica font used for the logo is stretched and pulled, used everywhere in the design. The printing is very cheap, where you can see the design wrap and the printers dot matrix. The can is a bright bronze color, which works with nothing and cheapens the effect, along with a ridiculous Xtreme intro paragraph that I am not even sure is in correct English. The two things which turn out is a caffeine listing and they managed to put the cap on straight.

But all the badness might soon be changing for the better. The company that used to distribute their products, Beverage Plus, bought them out about a year and a half ago. Mr. White retired, and sold off all his assets, including logo, formula and assets. Beverage Plus has this back in production in some formulation since that time, and is remaking all the places this drink went wrong, and left in all the good.

Mr. Serota, the rep at Beverage Plus, contacted me and gave me the inside scoop. Production on a new MC2 energy drink is supposed to be finished in early 2010, with a remade can design, and a redesigned energy mix. The all new MC2 will have 120mg of caffeine in one serving (Now – that’s a boost!). They are keeping in the atlas design, but updating it and printing it well. Beverage Plus also has a major distribution channel, already in 130 countries.
The best news of all is the one thing MC2 did right – the flavor – remains blissfully untouched. I Can’t wait!