In my many years as a blogger and a journalist (sort of), I have posted reviews of the usual gadgets, software, movies, music, books, websites, WiFi on Indian Railways and also of a few magazines but never that of a drink (excluding, of course, the occasional Old Monk endorsement).
Scepticism is something that my profession (as well as my interests) has ingrained within me. But one sip of a Paper Boat drink was enough to remove any doubts.
The first thing that struck me about Paper Boat, even before I unscrewed a pack was the packaging. My review unit (that’s how we refer to them in tech circles. Don’t we?) came packaged in a nice orange jute bag, that I have preserved for future use. It had six packs in it – two each of three different flavours. The price tag for a pack of six 250ml packs was also a reasonable Rs 150 (single packs are priced at Rs 30, a bit higher than the competition).
The pack design, in itself makes Paper Boat beverages stand out from the crowd of Real, Tropicana and the like. There’s no straw to puncture the pack and sip and therefore also no struggle suck the last bit of juice left. Twist it open and drink as you would from a bottle. An hour-glass-like shape makes it comfortable to hold.
Paper Boat drinks are available in four different flavours – aamras, jaljeera, kokum and jamun kala khatta. My pack didn’t include kokum but the taste of the other three were an absolute delight (no, this isn’t a paid review).
Because the taste seemed to be too good to be true, the sceptic in me crept in and got others around to also try. Surprisingly, everyone had the same feedback, “Yeh to asli taste jaisa hain (This is like the real taste)”. And in a matter of minutes, we emptied 1500ml of Paper Boat.
Never before in all these years of packaged drinks has the taste come as close to as the real thing. The health conscious might not appreciate the sugar in the drinks, but I don’t have any such qualms, yet.
All the three flavours I tried – aamras, jaljeera and jamun kala khatta – triggered memories of the past. And Paper Boat’s marketing strategy also appropriately focuses on igniting memories, right from the name itself.
Paper Boat is an example of fine thought backed by credible execution. What’s missing is the distribution. I desperately wanted to try the kokum – the missing flavour from my review unit – but none of the neighbourhood supermarkets and stores appear to stock Paper Boat. I wish they took orders online.