Water companies are luring consumers to water with a focus on functional benefits and associations with food

Buoyed by consumers turning away from carbonated soft drinks, the flavoured market is up 2.4%, according to TNS.
MBL trading manager Charlotte Morey says: “Still flavoured water offers a stepping stone for consumers who are bored of fizzy drinks but find plain water
less than interesting.”
Keith McIlwain, MD at Strathmore Mineral Water, is of the same opinion. “We all know that we should drink eight glasses of water a day, but the thing that has helped drive this and make it more palatable is flavoured water,” he says.
McIlwain says there has been a shift towards more complex flavours as consumers are growing tired of the standard strawberry and lemon offerings. He also believes there is a strong opportunity to link flavoured water with food rather than just marketing it as solely for hydration.
“Consumers buy very much on usage occasion. People buy
according to brand, in bulk for home, for on the move and to drink with food. One area not catered for enough is home dining.”
As such, Strathmore is making two significant launches into the grocery market this year, both of which target adults. Strathmore Select is a premium flavoured range in glass one-litre bottles that will go head to head with soft drinks such as Shloer and Appletiser and will be suitable for the dinner table. Three flavours are being launched later this month - white grape & lychee, orange, mandarin & lemongrass and apple, jasmine & camomile.
Its new low-calorie waters under the Rosemary Conley label specifically target female dieters. Three variants have been developed, again in what Strathmore says are challenging flavours - orange & mandarin, cranberry & blueberry and apple & pomegranate.
Functional waters are also growing in stature as water companies continue to encroach on soft drinks manufacturers’ territory.
Works With Water is a new brand of nutriceutical drinks that its maker claims is the next generation of waters. The company has developed six variants, each with its own specific health benefit, targeting a range of consumers.
Delicate Balance, aimed at 25 to 45-year-old women, is a prebiotic flavoured water that enhances good bacteria in the gut, while Eau Man, aimed at 25 to 45-year-old men, is rich in fibre to improve internal health. Its Water of Life, also fibre-enriched, is targeted at men and women aged 50+.
Water with added benefits is being developed by V Water, which describes its products as “evolved water”. The company has focused on moods, with three drinks - Kick, Shield and De-stress. Kick is enhanced with vitamins and minerals that provide of energy, De-stress soothes anxiety and Shield boosts the immune system.
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