KANSAS CITY — Flavored and functional waters are making a splash in the beverage business as consumers cut down on added sugars and seek more health benefits from the food and beverages they buy. The flavored and functional waters market was valued at $29.2 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach $76.75 billion by 2026, according to Coherent Market Insights.
“Trending functional claims in waters include improving the immune system, lowering cholesterol levels, improving digestion and weight management,” Coherent Market Insights said. “Increasing health consciousness as well as increasing consumer awareness of the benefits of consumption of vitamins and minerals is driving growth of the global flavored and functional water market.”
The launch of new varieties is bolstering the growth of the segment, from raspberry rose-flavored sparkling water to vitamin-enhanced fitness water.
In the flavored water field, such players as the Coca-Cola Co., Nestle S.A. and Voss Water debuted new offerings this year. In March, the Coca-Cola Co. expanded the Smartwater brand lineup with its first flavored varieties in the United States. The company tested more than 20 flavors with consumers and whittled the number down to the final three: Smartwarter Sparkling strawberry blood orange, fuji apple pear and raspberry rose.
“Now is the right time for Smartwater to tap into this fast-growing category,” said Shannon Richmond, group director for Smartwater at the time of the products’ debut. “We see an opportunity for the brand to be part of more moments and occasions throughout the day. For all-day hydration, there’s Smartwater (still). For meals and entertaining, we have Smartwater Sparkling and now these exciting new flavors.”
Nestle S.A. in April launched San Pellegrino Essenza, a new line of fruit-flavored sparkling water in in three flavors: Lemon & Lemon Zest, Dark Morello Cherry & Pomegranate, and Tangerine & Wild Strawberry. The company also expanded its line of Poland Spring flavored sparkling waters in February with six new varieties: Ruby red grapefruit, lemon ginger, white peach ginger, blood orange hibiscus, orange mango and vanilla flavor twist.
In May, Voss Water introduced raspberry rose and strawberry ginger sparkling water. Packaged in 27.1-oz bottles, the waters contain zero sugar and zero calories and are flavored with natural flavors.
The functional water segment saw a number of new products this year, too, including launches from PepsiCo, Inc., Caribou Coffee and Clear/Cut Phocus.
PepsiCo, Inc. in May launched Propel Vitamin Boost, a fitness water enhanced with 100% of the recommended daily value of vitamins B3, B5, B6 and C as well as electrolytes. The 20-oz bottles contain 10 calories each and come in three flavors: strawberry raspberry, apple pear and peach mango.
“Based on consumer insights, Propel knows that those with active lifestyles desire choice, as well as water that delivers added benefits, such as electrolytes and vitamins,” Propel said. “The brand also knows that many consumers value more natural sweeteners, colors or flavors. The introduction of Propel Vitamin Boost delivers on both fronts. It is an example of the brand’s commitment to innovation and providing a variety of hydration solutions that meet the needs and ingredient preferences of consumers. Made with no artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors, Propel Vitamin Boost offers those with active lifestyles more choices when it comes to their unique hydration needs and ingredient preferences.”
“Based on consumer insights, Propel knows that those with active lifestyles desire choice, as well as water that delivers added benefits, such as electrolytes and vitamins.” — PepsiCo
Caribou Coffee entered the functional waters category in August with new Caribou Bou-sted Caffeinated Sparkling Waters. The ready-to-drink beverages are made with caffeine derived from coffee beans, ginseng and guarana extract. Caribou Bou-sted Caffeinated Waters are flavor-infused sparkling waters that “offer consumers a refreshing, low-calorie twist with the addition of caffeine,” the company said. The waters contain five calories or fewer and are available in grapefruit and mixed berry flavors.
“Caribou Bou-sted allows us to meet our guests’ ever-changing needs and bring to market a premium assortment of ready-to-drink caffeinated beverages that are both delicious and functional,” said Matt Reiter, senior director of merchandising at Caribou Coffee. “They are perfect in the morning or as an afternoon boost with several flavor options we know our guests are going to love.”
Also in August, Clear/Cut Phocus added a new peach flavor to its line of premium sparkling waters that contain caffeine from green tea. New peach Phocus contains no sugar, sweeteners, sodium or calories and provides 75 mg of caffeine in each can. Phocus beverages also include the amino acid L-theanine.
“As we discussed the introduction of a new flavor, it was important to us to create something that fit well into the current Phocus portfolio, and that we knew our customers would enjoy,” said Tom O’Grady, chief executive officer of Phocus. “Phocus has always been about light, bright, refreshing taste, so when we thought about developing a new fruit flavor, it felt like a natural fit to tap into our Southern roots and create peach."