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Functional drinks are on the rise, with data provided to Nutritional Outlook by Innova Market Insights showing an 8% compound annual growth rate in global functional beverage launches from 2012 to 2017. The functional water market in particular is diversifying in unexpected ways, with products like CBD-infused spring water and amino acid–enriched water gaining ground in foreign markets.
Domestically, functional waters are quickly becoming popular. Jill Failla of SPINS (Chicago, IL) says that the U.S. enhanced waters segment is now worth $1.9 billion, up 11% from 2017. “All product types that SPINS codes for are showing growth, including alkaline, electrolyte, nutrient, oxygenated, and energy. Natural products are leading the growth among nutrient- and alkaline-enhanced waters, and they dominate the oxygenated water market.”
Here are just a few of the most popular new products that are changing the water market.
Caffeinated Water Gives Office Workers Extra Pep
Specialty products dominate the energy water market, Failla says. SPINS data show that within the shelf-stable water category, domestic sales of functional energy beverages grew 300% from May 2017 to May 2018. One of the rapidly growing specialty products within this category is caffeinated water. As caffeine intake increases among professionals, office workers are seeking a means of achieving their caffeine fix while staying hydrated, a need that Limitless Coffee & Tea (Chicago, IL) and others are stepping up to meet.
We're targeting the diet cola drinkers with our product line, but we focus more on refreshment. With a lightly caffeinated sparkling water, consumers can get their kick while staying hydrated.”
Matros says the brand chose to use 12-oz aluminum cans as packaging rather than slender cans in an effort to make consumer adoption simpler. “We’re asking people to give up their cola, which is why we want to mimic the cola experience as much as possible.”
Matros says the functional water market is trending toward a “water-plus” format. “We’re doing water-plus-caffeine. But there’s also water-plus-fiber, water-plus-fats, and even water-plus-hydrogen. There’s lots of fun stuff happening in functional water, which is very exciting.”
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