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C4 x STARBURST™ Candy: The Juiciest Collaboration in history

A burst of explosive energy, four juicy flavors, and a game-changing partnership — that’s how you get EXPLOSIVE ENERGY & JUICY FLAVOR!

Over two years in the making, the iconic brands of C4 Energy® and STARBURST™ candy, known for delivering unbelievable flavors, teamed up to bring you the perfect pairing of legendary physical and sensory performance. Our mission was simple: innovate and inspire with the juicy flavors of STARBURST™ candy in a Zero Sugar Performance Energy Drink. By tapping into this partnership, we delivered the nostalgia of your favorite flavor of STARBURST™ candy with the explosive energy of C4.

In other words, sip on that C4, then pop a STARBURST™ candy!

And you know what we discovered was our greatest challenge in achieving that signature juicy flavor?

We’ll let our Product Development Director, Frank DiLorenzo, give you the scoop:

“One of the difficulties about the STARBURST™ candies was that they have a nice creamy texture and deliver lot of juiciness to your palate. When you're consuming STARBURST™ candy, the flavor is building over time whereas an Energy Drink leaves your palate very quickly. As a result, you’re trying to pack the whole 10-20 second STARBURST™ candy consumption experience into the 1 second “sip” of an Energy Drink. The STARBURST™ candy provide more and more flavor as you chew, and it was difficult to mimic the same type of flavor experience in a much shorter window of time.”

"At C4 Energy, we were up for this challenge! With a C4 in one hand and a STARBURST™ candy in the other, we tasted and tweaked (and tasted again!) to match the delicious flavor of STARBURST™ candy."


Explosive Energy x Juicy Flavor

Getting that delicious, juicy flavor of STARBURST™ candy is no easy task! It requires narrowing down flavors to their specific notes, recreating the mouthfeel of chewing a candy in a beverage, and matching the sweetness without the sugar, — all while using high-performance ingredients! And as you can imagine, each factor had its unique challenges. Chewing a candy is a much different taste experience than sipping a beverage. In addition, the performance ingredients we love in our C4 Energy drinks (such as caffeine, CarnoSyn® Beta-alanine, and BetaPower® Betaine) have an unpleasant taste! Which makes creating an UNEXPLAINABLY JUICY flavor unexplainably difficult.

And when it comes to matching the actual flavors, fruit notes can be especially challenging because it’s such a broad category.

Frank had this to say:

“The biggest challenge is the consumption experience. You chew a STARBURST™ candy and it builds in flavor intensity with each bite releasing more flavor. Also, there’s a textural aspect to it; it’s creamy, smooth, and juicy. With beverage, it’s a much quicker experience in every sip. You need a lot more flavor intensity to get the right flavor approximation. Plus, you’re also fighting the carbonation, which can minimize your perception of flavor. To get the juiciness, you need the right balance of acids and flavor components in the product. We were concerned with trying to get the right fruit note and with the waxy/creamy qualities of the STARBURST™ candy texture; that was our focus.

Lemon and orange STARBURST™ candies are super intense flavors, they’re both very citrusy. The orange is almost like an orange juice. The lemon is complex and has notes reminiscent of a lemon curd as well as a candied lemon rind. Their strawberry is more of a slow build that increases in intensity. Strawberry is the creamiest of the flavors, it can almost come across as like a very ripe, strawberry cream and has some caramel and jammy aspects to it. Cherry, I felt had a bit of a black cherry hint. It didn’t seem like just a Bing type cherry; it has a dark and rich black cherry note.”

After extensive internal taste-testing sessions and STARBURST™ candy binges, the feedback was a unanimous thumbs-up! When we began submitting the flavors to the STARBURST™ candy team, we were blown away at how our top-notch flavor scientists were able to get approval for these epic flavors so quickly.

Frank: “The first Cherry we sent to STARBURST™ candy, they approved right out of the gate. We were 1/1 on that one. Lemon or Orange took the longest, we went through about 15 iterations before we were able to get that flavor. Strawberry was around 10 iterations.”

Want to try the juiciest, most explosive energy in history? Grab a C4 Energy x STARBURST™ Candy and get juicy!

STARBURST™ trademarks owned by Mars or affiliates and used under license.

Date April 27, 2022
Category Lifestyle