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Drink your gallon, made easy
During my latest trip into my local grocery store, I was struck by the number of options in the water section of the beverage aisle.
Bottled, canned, or boxed water? Sparkling, flavored, or vitamin-infused? All at once?
The water category has been on the rise over the past years, and bottled water was set to become the largest soft drink category in 2018, according to Zenith Global.
Successful bubbly water brands such as La Croix have pushed top soft drink producers to move faster into this category. PepsiCo, for example, spent $3.2B to acquire sparkling water machine maker SodaStream last year.
And there’s more to come.
We’ve identified 3 thirst-quenching trends that CPG & Retail companies should be looking at.
By offering a packaging that is more sustainable than plastic bottles, they hope to conquer eco-conscious consumers.
Sustainability is also a key argument for advocates of the BYOB movement — Bring-Your-Own-(water)Bottle. Companies such as Mitte, LifeFuels, and SodaStream are combining tech and reusable bottles to offer personalized water-based drinks.
The premiumization of water
If you thought a bottle of Evian was expensive, you may want to jump to the next trend directly.
Brands such as Svalbarði are turning a bare necessity into a luxury good, as recently reported by The Guardian. The company produces ~$85 water bottles from icebergs harvested in the Antarctic.
And high-end restaurants are adapting to the trend by offering extensive water menus, as well as pairing suggestions from — dramatic drum roll — a water sommelier!
Water as a marketing tool
Last but not least, consumer companies are increasingly using water as a marketing tool to target health-conscious consumers.
Water as a carrier for health benefits. Startups operating in the functional beverage space are battling to offer benefits-infused water with vitamins, proteins (Protein2O), CBD (Recess), and more.
Boozy water. Sales of hard seltzer are booming, with dollar sales growing 169% in 2018 compared to the previous year, according to Nielsen.
Water-like beverages. Last summer, a number of colorless drinks launched in Japan, from Suntory’s alcohol-free beer targeted at office workers, to Coca-Cola Clear. Although these transparent drinks aren’t marketed as water, they do look just like water.
As the wellness economy continues to rise, we’re likely to see big beverage companies pushing further into water-based drinks through M&A and innovation.