Thursday, June 14, 2018

Spider Widowmaker Berry Bite Energy Drink (Various)

SPIDER WIDOWMAKER BERRY BITE ENERGY DRINK

Not bad for a widely-available budget energy drink.
Well here we have a little review that kind of goes against the grain from other ones. Typically, you will note, I stick to private labels from major discount/closeout retailers (specifically, Aldi, Dollar Tree, and Big Lots). That's never really been a concrete rule of mine, just something I've done to keep the focus kind of narrowed, both on behalf of myself, and readers. Well this time I'm throwing that idea out the window, to focus on an energy drink that I purchased somewhere in Tennessee, in a convenience store in the middle of nowhere. For a buck.

Now full-sized (this one is 16 oz.) dollar energy drinks aren't really anything all that new: the Rip-It line generally retails for a buck and is widely available inside Dollar Trees', and other stores. But convenience stores aren't typically a good place to find a deal like this, so I figured I'd write about it, since it clearly fits in with the overall theme of the blog. After all, you never know when you might be stranded in the middle of nowhere with your car broke down, craving caffeine and with only a dollar in your pocket (and hopefully enough change for tax in your glove box).

As is usual with cheap energy beverages (and sadly, even most expensive ones) despite the “Berry” mentioned in the flavor title, there is no actual fruit juice. There is the strong smell of artificial berry right from the outset...it reminded me of a berry candy, and sets you up for something really sweet. It is very sweet, and my heart skipped a beat when I looked at the nutrition label (after the fact) and saw that there's a whopping 30 grams of sugar per serving—a closer look, however, revealed an oddity that I can't say I've seen before: each 16 oz. can is an individual serving. Most energy drinks will divide them into two 8 oz. servings which can make high sugar content appear lower to those that don't pay attention. So really, while 30g is pretty high, the average per can is actually closer to 60g, making this far lower.

The taste matches what most will be expecting: a sweet blast of fake berry flavor that might be too sweet for some. I liked it, and if I were ever to stumble on it again (I have never seen it around me at any store in Ohio), I would probably pick it up, though I would probably try one of the other flavors of Spider first. But you can't really shake the fact that, at a dollar, and from a convenience store, this is a pretty good deal. And I would argue that I actually prefer this to anything I've tasted in the Rip-It line, and also prefer this to just about any energy drink from Aldi (save for maybe their Ultra White), so there's also that.

These are good for the price; any higher and you've just gotten gypped.

Overall: 6/10. It's exactly what you were expecting going in: a very sweet, artificial berry flavor made entirely out of “natural flavors” and exactly zero juice. That being said, it's at least not a standard energy drink flavor, and I actually liked the berry taste. It's easily drinkable and provides a nice energy charge (I drank a little more than half a can and was pretty amped up a shortwhile later). The sweetness is also balanced with some sucralose, so the crash shouldn't be as strong as it would be with sugar making up all of the sweet content. The main reason the score is so high is because of its price point: I picked up a 16 oz. can of this for a $1 from a Tennessee convenience store, which is pretty solid value. Also of note: the nutrition facts consider one whole can a serving, so you can half them by drinking half the can, or see what you can expect by downing the whole can. I'd probably try a different flavor of Spider if I stumbled on them again, but if this happened to be all they had, and I needed some energy, I would probably pick it up.

2 comments:

  1. I've never heard of Spider Energy before but I agree with your opinion on Rip It, although it's been years since I've had it (got a can from Dollar Tree in the early 2000s and was so disgusted by it that I threw it away and never looked back). I've had both of the national brands (ahem, Monster and Red Bull) and find Monster the most flavorful but Red bull always seemed to have the most caffeine kick at least to me. I turn to coffee nowadays but generic energy drinks with the exception of one private label you won't see unless you happen to be in upstate NY pretty much all give a horrible after taste.

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    1. I was wondering where you were! I didn't get a notification for this, either, hence why I'm just now responding after two weeks!

      Man, I wanted to like Rip It but have had so many bad experiences with them that the mere thought of drinking one makes my stomach turn. As it turns out, that's not so good for business, haha.

      Ever tried Rockstar? It's another major brand that I'm sure you've seen before. Monster maxes out at about 160 mg per can here in the States (which is about equal with Red Bull, per serving) but depending on the flavor, Rockstars can go up to 240mg. Plus, they tend to be cheaper (the supermarket near us frequently has them on sale for $1 each). I think I'm just used to the horrid aftertaste because I don't tend to notice it with most, haha.

      What private label do you speak of? I'm just interested to know what it is, even if I can't get my hands on it!

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