Rip It!

One of the biggest advantages of living in Michigan, we’re told, is that the cost of living is low. When Forbes ranked the cities where you get the most bang for your buck earlier this year, Metro Detroit came in 3rd place. You don’t need much money to survive here.

Sure, we had a real estate boom in the ’90s and early ’00s like everyone else, but our population is smaller today than it was in 1970, so the houses usually go for cheap, cheap, cheap. You can work an entry level job in the service industry and own a house. I know one couple where the wife is a waitress and the husband is a janitor, and they have enough money to not only own a house in the suburbs, but to take Caribbean cruises and keep their liquor cabinet well-stocked with vile “mid-range” vodkas.

You couldn’t like like that in big cities like New York. To your average New Yorker, the deals in Metro Detroit sound simply incredible – but not incredible enough that they’d ever want to move here. Yeah, our economy is getting better, along with the housing market. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that all we’ve actually done is kicked the carcass over, revealing a few scraps of meat we hadn’t noticed before. Is this really a recovery?

But hey, we really do enjoy low cost of living here, and that’s nothing to scoff at. Metro Detroiters, for example, can buy their energy drinks for the low price of $1.09. Yes – $1.09, and you get ten cents back if you recycle the can. Rip It, produced by Warren, Michigan sodamaker Sundance Beverage Co., can be found in gas stations and convenience stores all over Metro Detroit. Each can promises to deliver “real energy [to] real people at a real value”, and for once, it’s a marketing slogan that might not be a complete lie.

Rip It comes in a wide variety of flavors, from the Rock Star imitation Sting-Er Mo to the Kool-Aid Fruit Punch ripoff F Bomb. Bitter, sweet, acidic, or profound – it doesn’t matter what your preference is, Sundance has dreamed up an industrial concoction just for you. And the drinks have most of the ingredients you’d expect: sugar, caffeine, an array of B vitamins, taurine, inositol, ginseng, carnitine, and guarana.

So basically, you’re getting the same effects you’d get from a Red Bull or Monster at about half the price. It’s almost – dare I say it? – revolutionary. Was there something special about the economically challenged neighborhood that surrounds Sundance’s 9 Mile Road factory (one mile from Detroit) that inspired the company’s “product development technologists” to create an energy drink anyone could afford?

I’m not sure. All I know is that we’ve embraced Rip It here. I guess it goes good with off-brand cigarettes, Five O’ Clock, chronic underemployment, potholes, ‘check engine’ lights, and seasonal depression.

Drink up.

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