Kroger Pomegranate Energy Support Shots (Kroger)

A poorly-cropped image of Kroger Pomegranate Energy Support Shots
Eh...they're very cheap, but they also taste like it.

I have mentioned before that I hate Kroger. It sucks and is overpriced, and is stupid. It's just your typical supermarket, with overpriced items galore, and a good deal every now and again. I just don't get off on places like that. Unfortunately for me, my wife loves it. I really just don't understand. I thought when I turned her on to Aldi years ago, that I would break her of the Kroger habit, but for some reason, she actually prefers going there. Must be the fuel points, where you spend, like, a zillion dollars to save a few pennies on gas. What a reward! (Gas seems to be the one thing people will pinch pennies on without doing actual math. For example, I knew people that would only go to Kroger back in the day just to get the 3 cents off a gallon. Guess what you've just saved? 42 cents on a 14 gallon tank. These are the same people that won't think twice to drop $7 on a small drink at Starbucks. Whatever.)

Anyway, out of the millions of trips that I've taken to the place, I just assumed they never had energy shots. They have never been displayed prominently anywhere, they are nowhere to be found at the front checkouts, and they weren't in the energy drink aisle that I frequent, which is about the only place it makes sense to put them. Long story short, I just discovered, while looking for diet pills with my wife, that they shove them in with the weight-burning supplements. Okay...whatever. No comment.

Yet among the flavors of the national brand shot, I was pretty shocked to find that Kroger has their own brand of shots! Even better: A two-pack (curiously the only size they are sold in) retails for a mere $1.49. That equals, to be exact, 74.5 cents per shot. And there are a variety of flavors, something that Aldi sorely lacks (come on guys, can we get some private label Special Buy energy drinks every once in a while?). I ended up buying none on my trip, but my wife grabbed me a couple of pomegranate-flavored shots the next day, because they were on closeout for $.74...for two. There are lots of flaws I'd be willing to forgive for $.37 a shot...that's an excellent deal no matter how you look at it!

I cracked one open and took a little sip...and it really didn't take long to see why these were on closeout: I'm guessing it's because they taste pretty awful. Immediately after swallowing my swig, I had to double-check the label to see what the flavor was even supposed to tastes nothing like pomegranate at all. In fact, I think my wife summed up the flavor best by saying: “It tastes like something is fermenting in there.” And indeed, it does have a rather odd, almost alcoholic flavor, followed up by a strong tart aftertaste that clings to the back of the throat and refuses to leave, only gaining strength with each passing drink. This is the kind of shot that gives energy drinks a bad name.

They're also relatively weak, as it takes me somewhere around half a bottle to start getting jazzed up. To that end, it would be nice to see Kroger offer “extra strength” versions of some of their shots. But at the end of the day, I only paid $.37 per bottle. Since I tend to only drink about half at a time, that's a pretty solid $.19 per serving. Sure, it tastes like shit and it doesn't really work all that well, but if budget is the name of your game, it's worth a shot grabbing them before they are permanently gone.

Overall: 5/10. These taste like a fermenting fruit of unidentifiable origins, and take around half a bottle to get me going (whereas stronger shots from elsewhere take a quarter of a bottle or less, thanks to my incredibly low caffeine tolerance), but they were a mere $.74 per two pack on closeout at Kroger, so I feel like I can't complain a whole lot. And as bad as these were, I have to say that I will still try other flavors from their unadvertised energy shot selection (which are $1.49 per two-pack when not on sale or closeout, a respectable $.75 per bottle) that I never knew existed because some corporate moron decided energy shots should go in the weight loss supplement aisle, rather than with energy drinks. Whatever. Anyway, they did eventually work, and they weren't so bad that I couldn't force them down, so there's a plus. Not a great shot, but if you need caffeine on a budget, run out and grab these before they are permanently gone!