Taste Test: La Croix vs. Pepsi’s New Bubly Sparkling Water
Pepsi recently announced the launch of Bubly, a new sparkling water with no artificial flavors, no sweeteners, and no calories. Customers can purchase the drink in eight different flavors: lime, grapefruit, strawberry, lemon, orange, apple, mango, and cherry. But do these 12-ounce cans stand a chance against trusted carbonated veteran La Croix?
Thanks to a sampler sent to us by Pepsi, Daily Meal staffers were able to assess the brands head to head in a battle for best sparkling water.
Both cans tasted pretty identical to your average lemon water. Some editors thought the scents were equally soapy smelling and maybe even a little reminiscent of Pledge cleaner. The La Croix version reminded us of a very dull Sprite, while the Bubly had us daydreaming of warmer days and Italian ice.
Immediately after cracking both of these cans, there is an overwhelming Sunkist soda scent. On the flipside, some felt the La Croix lacked flavor completely, and the Bubly tasted more like bubble gum than citrus. We didn’t particularly enjoy either of these varieties, but the La Croix felt more genuinely orange than its competitor.
For both brands, mango was the most fragrant of the flavors. Bubly was so strong it was even slightly peachy, similar to a Trolli gummy. Neither water lived up to expectations — especially after Diet Coke’s new mango flavor wowed us in another taste test — but we’re curious to see if they would be good mixers for rum. Although Bubly tasted a hint like cheap perfume, it pulled through with the most flavor out of the two.
Bubly was strong, but extremely bitter with less of a scent. La Croix gave off an aroma of Mr. Sketch scented markers kids used to innocently huff in grade school. This time around, the LaCroix was the sweeter-smelling option, but at the same time it was still crisp and more drinkable.
For this match-up, we used a berry La Croix and a strawberry Bubly because the brands don’t have an identical flavor for this category. La Croix was light and marginally floral. Bubly had a hint of sweet candy and was noticeably less carbonated. This variation also smelled of bubble gum.
Some features our editors unanimously agreed on were that La Croix had better flavor and Bubly was more fragrant. Seltzer water devotees in the office have long adored the latter, but after our taste test we were split nearly right down the middle. One last deciding vote broke the tie though, and La Croix was crowned champion.
Don’t believe us? You can try Pepsi’s Bubly sparkling water for yourself. But if you’re looking for something a little finer to fill your cup with fizz, it might be worth checking out these 10 really, really expensive Champagnes.
Bubly beverage samples were provided by the producer for review at no cost to the writer.