I noticed last week that 7-11 Taiwan had started selling Rockstar energy drink. Content with the local variety the only thing I miss about “western” energy drinks is the size.
The small Taiwanese bottled ones don’t really do anything for thirst. Not that you should be drinking them for that I know, but it still feels nice if you feel like you’re drinking an actual drink as opposed to a shot of medicine.
Seeing Rockstar in the same sized cans as the overpriced Red Bull here in 7-11 last week, I naturally got all excited. Well, I did until I saw the price.
I don’t know what flavours Rockstar usually comes in but 7-11 is currently offering a “black” version (try as I might I couldn’t see any flavour description on the can so I’m going with original), and a pink “Perfectberry” flavour.
Taste wise original is pretty much your run of the mill guarana flavoured energy drink. Comparing it to red bull it lacked it had a much milder caramel flavour, with me actually preferring Red Bull over it (this tasted like half-strength, think Diet Coke vs. Coke).
PerfectBerry on the other hand, although obviously marketed at women (or Taiwanese guys, snap!), was much better tasting. I was initially cautious over the pairing of “berry” and energy drink as the guarana taste is pretty strong and not sweet.
PerfectBerry however is definitely the better tasting of the two, with a decent tasting berry flavour replacing the mild caramel taste the original flavour has.
Being all pink canned and advertising “zero sugar” and “zero carbs”, even if priced right I still doubt I could regularly bring myself to buy the cans.
Energy wise both drinks kept me going for a few hours, so in that regard they held true to their purpose (I use energy drinks as a coffee replacement as I can’t stand hot coffee).
Price wise however, like Red Bull, Rockstar is a pretty big letdown. Currently 7-11 are offering Rockstar at $49 TWD ($1.70 USD) a can (250ml) but the usual price is $55 TWD ($1.90 USD), just short of Red Bull’s $59 TWD.
Considering the decent enough tasting locally made Paolyta Wild Bull X2 is just $25 TWD… I’m probably just going to stick with that.
Long term I don’t see 7-11 keeping Rockstar in its stores, it’s not different enough tastewise to justify the pricetag and they’ve already got Red Bull.
Dunno why they can’t be more competitive against the local stuff, I never see anyone drinking Red Bull over here except mixed in clubs.
Sometimes you can charge a premium for western food and sometimes you’ve just got to accept nobody is paying bullshit western food prices in an eastern food country.