The New, Improved and Fabulously Fruity Panda Drinks


Who remembers those iconic blue coloured fizzy drinks which were a special treat (I remember them from the ice cream van or at the school disco)? They were Panda Drinks, great fun and lovely tasting.

Bringing their brand up to date so that our own children may enjoy the same quality of flavour with a healthy slant Panda Drinks have relaunched and released a new range of drinks. We were sent a selection of fruit flavoured waters and juices to try. Needless to say they didn’t last two minutes as the boys loved them! Panda Splash, the orange and pineapple flavoured water as well as blackcurrant flavour as well as the new Panda Still Juice range including blackcurrant and raspberry flavours look set to be every bit as popular, if not more so, that their earlier counterparts.

These new “no nasties” drinks are both delicious and perfect for packed lunch boxes. With schools employing a firm policy against what are deemed unhealthy foods and drinks in school pack-ups these new Panda Drinks bottles fit in nicely. Hydration boosting and perfectly sized (250ml) for little hands Taylor (3yrs) loved taking his to nursery. The sports caps make these easy to open and close and of course are considerably less messy than straw drinks and open bottle lids.

Currently available at Asda, Tesco and Ocado and priced at £1.99 for a six bottle multi-pack these work out competitively priced and in many Tesco stores Panda Squash is now available in one litre bottles for a very reasonable 99p each. With a number of new flavours to discover including the new tropical and summer fruits there is something here for everyone.

For school packed lunches, carpet picnics (we spread blankets out in the lounge for our picnics now the colder, wetter autumn weather has arrived!) and for on the go we love the new Panda Drinks which offer everything we look for as parents (health benefits, no rubbish, easy to use bottles and a decent price) and of course the kids love the flavours.

They may not be blue and fizzy anymore however Panda Drinks are still as special now as they were then, simply more focused on what we are looking for in a soft drink for children in 2014

Splash! Panda Drinks

It doesn’t get any more retro than this! Sodastream #review

Dear Nicki, Would you like to test & review a sodastream..”

My address is……!”

Would I? Hell yes! I always wanted one of these, it’s one of those things that you long for as a kid, alongside things like Mr Frosty’s IcePop Maker (ok, as a parent I now see how that particular toy would be a pain in the butt!).

I received the SodaStream Fizz (black) which can be found here. I think we can all agree that it looks fabulous!

What is a Sodastream? Basically Sodastream turns normal tap water into carbonated (fizzy) drinks using CO2 (in the form of a replaceable gas canister (more on this later) ) which can be flavoured with a huge range of flavoured “syrups” from Sodastream or in fact anything you like (Kieran sometimes like normal Apple & Blackcurrant juice, I occasionally just add a dash of lime or lemon to the water).

Design: When it arrived I was more than a little surprised – I had a mental image of a plasticky white thing, not this gleaming retro looking article. Design-wise, it get a huge thumbs up from me.

Ease of Set up: Ridiculously easy, assuming it would be a pain I fobbed it off to Roy and watched as he quickly set it up (show off!). Looking at the instructions for myself it does look pretty painless.

Features: These new Sodastream drinks makers have “Fizz Chip” technology which means you can choose your carbonation level, from sparkling to nose-tingling fizz. This is extremely handy for us as Kieran likes a mild fizz and I love a really clear your throat level of fizziness!

This model (Fizz) also comes with a Gas indicator level so that you can see the amount of gas in the canister.

The big sell: For me, the best feature is that this machine, as well as being fun and encouraging us to drink more (I usually don’t drink enough) is much better for the environment than buying plastic bottles!! The drinks container, which comes with a screw lid so you can store any left over drink made up in the fridge, has a lifespan of approximately 3yrs and the information I’ve been given states that by switching from traditional soft drinks to SodaStream, the average UK household would use just 45 plastic bottles per year as opposed to 433 traditional soft drinks bottles! That is a hell of difference! We’ve been using the SodaStream just shy of a month now and can already see the difference in our waste.

The Flavours: There is a huge range of concentrates, from diet/ sugar free, colas, clear drinks, fruity drinks, iced teas, sport drinks and more to choose from which can be purchased direct from Sodastream, at Argos, Lakeland and Robert Dyas stores. The “normal” size bottles each make up approx 12litres of drink and at full cost have a RRP of £3.29 I have my eye on the diet sample pack, 7 flavours, suitable for me on WeightWatchers, for £4.99. The website regularly runs offers on concentrates which can make purchasing even more economical.

The bugbear. When empty, you have to get a new gas cylinder. These are not free, however you can get a new one online or instore and if you return your empty you get money discounted back to you. There is more information on this here. Despite the gas cost I still believe this will work out cheaper for us longterm as a family, rather than buying bottled drinks, which is nowhere near as fun! We have used the Sodastream regularly since it arrived (very regularly in truth, trying new flavours, strengths and mixes) and still have 60% of the canister left.

Will we use it as a family or is the novelty wearing off? Well as a Mum I love it! We are all more hydrated, there is less waste and cost and it looks brilliant – what isn’t to love? This may be an “old” concept but these new designs and flavours have really brought making drinks storming into modern times!