Coca-Cola Enterprises is bringing $500m US bottled water brand Glaceau Smartwater to the UK - 10 years after Coke pulled its disastrous Dasani water from Britain.
Glaceau Smartwater will be manufactured and bottled for the UK at CCE’s plant in Morpeth and the supplier has invested £3.5m in the site to update production lines and bring in a new water treatment process.
Described as ‘vapour distilled’ and with added electrolytes to give a ‘crisp, clean taste’, Smartwater will roll out from August in 600ml (rsp: 57p) and 850ml (rsp: 89p) PET bottles. These were the same formats as used in the US, said CCE, and set it apart from the 500ml and 1l bottles used by many UK rivals.
The launch marks the brand’s first foray outside the US, where it debuted in 1996. “We’ve seen the success of the brand and will look to replicate it by providing a product that offers great value and is differentiated from other brands,” said CCE VP of sales & marketing Nick Canney.
He acknowldged that the move had partly been prompted by growing pressure from health campaigners on producers of sugary drinks. “Our heartland is and will be carbonates,” said Canney. “But we need to innovate in an increasingly competitive and evolving landscape.”
The launch will be supported by an above-the-line push, but CCE would not confirm if US brand ambassador Jennifer Aniston would front Smartwater here.
Water brand Schweppes Abbey Well - also produced at Morpeth - and the Glaceau Vitaminwater would continue to be sold in the UK, said the supplier.
Dasani was launched in the UK in February 2004 but pulled weeks later following a product recall and the revelation that the brand was produced with treated tap water from Sidcup.
Smartwater is sourced in Northumberland.