ROCKVILLE, MD. — Water producers are blurring boundaries between juice and water by infusing their products with plant-based components, such as fruits and vegetables and, more recently, tree-tapped ingredients, according to Packaged Facts’ U.S. Beverage Market Outlook 2019.
“Consumers are looking for plant-based alternatives across most food and beverage categories,” Packaged Facts said. “In most cases, this is driven by a desire for healthier sources of protein or to suit vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian diets.”
Following the widespread adoption of coconut water, several beverage manufacturers are seeking to replicate coconut water’s success by tapping into trees for new nutritious water varieties.
“Maple and birch sap are yielding water that is being packaged and marketed by a growing number of companies,” Packaged Facts said. “In addition to flavor, proponents are pushing the drinks as healthy with functional benefits and as more sustainable than typical waters.”
For example, Drink Simple offers maple water tapped from maple trees that is “naturally alkaline and contains electrolytes, antioxidants and prebiotics,” the company said. Flavors include original maple, raspberry lemon and grapefruit.
“Maple water is water tapped from maple trees that is packed with nutrients that fuel the tree and can fuel you,” Drink Simple said. “Maple water is more hydrating than water with half the sugar of coconut water.”
Sap!, maker of plant-based sparkling beverages, uses 100% maple and birch sap sourced from Vermont to create its sparkling birch water, maple soda and maple seltzer. The company claims its products contain nutrients and antioxidants that help boost immunity, fight fatigue and reduce inflammation.
Asarasi, named after the Latin word for maple, sells Sparkling Tree Water sourced from maple trees positioned as a more sustainable choice than typical bottled water. The company was one of eight selected for Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.'s Chipotle Aluminaries Project accelerator program in January. Asarasi's bubbly beverages come in four varieties: natural, lemon, lime and cherry lime.
“Asarasi Sparkling Tree Water is harmlessly and sustainably harvested from one of the only known renewable sources for pure water on earth: the maple tree,” Asarasi said. “Maple sap is 97% pure plant-based water. When the tree is tapped for its saps, the maple sugars are completely removed from the saps, leaving behind a crisp and refreshing tree-filtered water.”