Pop Psychology

Some soft drinks aren't content to be soft these days; they claim to promote physical, mental and spiritual well-being. But the makers aren't relying on those claims alone. Blue Sky All Natural Sodas, which boast ginseng, ginkgo and antioxidant vitamin content, have gorgeous golden cans with cobalt-blue pop-tops. SoBe "beach brews" come in striking bottles heavily embossed with the same sleek lizards that dance on the label.

And though you'd think people who want the claimed health benefits of the herb contents would be willing to take their medicine, these drinks are mostly quite sweet. (Blue Sky's cranberry-raspberry flavor covers up the ginseng flavor better than the others; it's kind of like Kool-Aid. SoBe's Wisdom--containing ginkgo, St. John's wort and gotu kola--tastes like a mild orange-mango drink.) Most are distinctly sweeter than plain old Snapple's ginseng tea (introduced along with green tea and pretty good orange jasmine tea flavors), which goes so easy on the health claims that it actually asks its customers what they think.

At supermarkets.

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