The water drinks industry is evolving, as consumers look for more appetising ways to enhance their H2O.
From fruity seltzers to botanically infused water the World Beverage Innovation Awards team breaks down four top trends set to influence the water drinks industry.
Bubbly (or carbonated) beverages have been steadily growing in popularity over several years. The global sparkling water industry is projected to reach $76.95 billion by 2028 with an annual growth rate of 12.6%, according to Grand View Report.
Sparkling mineral water is naturally carbonated, ie. from a spring or a well, whereas seltzers and club sodas are carbonated manually. According to Grand View Research, sparkling mineral water held the largest share in the sparkling water market with more than 60% in 2020.
When it comes to carbonated water drinks, flavour profiles are almost limitless – from the tangy and slightly bitter notes of citric fruits to light and refreshing florals. Dash Water expanded its portfolio with the launch of a new mango flavour made from “rejected knobbly, bobbly mangoes, fusing the wonderfully unwanted wonky fruit into freshly-sprung, sparkling water,” the company said.
Carbonated waters are also a huge hit among consumers looking to enjoy a healthy alternative to sugary sodas. Waterloo Sparkling Water, which recently added two new variants to its line-up – Cherry Limeade and Blackberry Lemonade – claims its beverages are free from sugar, calories and artificial sweeteners.
Hard seltzers feature a combination of alcohol, seltzer water and natural flavours, and are perceived to be healthier than other alcoholic beverages, such as cocktails, wines and beers.
Lower in calories and alcohol content, hard seltzers have rapidly become the go-to summer drink of choice for many consumers. Michelob Ultra released a range of organic hard seltzers that contain only 80 calories, have no sugar and are filtered six times to remove impurities.
Hard seltzers are also a convenient option as they often come in an easy-to-pack, ready-to-drink format. They are particularly popular among Millenials and Gen-Z drinkers, who are attracted by a healthier alternative and the variety on offer. Margarita-inspired hard seltzers by Truly and Neon Burst sparkling alcoholic drinks by AB InBev are among the innovations propelling this category into the spotlight.
Statista predicts that the hard seltzer market is expected to reach $39.53 billion by 2025.
Personalisation is key
Functional waters offer additional health benefits such as minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
The functional trend will continue to grow in the coming years, as meeting the demand for products that target specific consumer needs such as improving fitness or supporting emotional wellbeing. The functional global market is projected to reach $22.97 billion by 2028, with an annual growth rate of 7.55%, according to Fortune Business Insights. Some key innovations in this category include Vieve’s vegan protein waters, alongside Karma Water’s CBD-infused water.
Both of these companies have added fun fruity flavours to their range, from Blood Orange Papaya to Wild Cherry, and contain no added sugar. This year, functional beverage brand Buzzed launched a new energy tonic water, powered by natural caffeine, pure blossom honey and stevia.
The global water dispenser market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.35% in revenue.
The demand for water dispensers is growing, as consumers show increased concern about the carbon footprint of bottled water, which is usually discarded after single use. Studies have shown that only one in five bottles are currently recycled through the proper streams.
After the pandemic, touchless water dispensers were introduced as a means to address hygiene concerns. Last year, Elkay released a touchless counter-top water dispenser, offering a hygienic and sustainable dispensing option.
Technology is evolving at a fast pace and innovation in this industry is evident. Companies have introduced dispensers that are fully customisable and can be used for a number of different functions like cleaning, skincare, boosting employee productivity, etc. Bevi has introduced its Standup 2.0 smart water cooler, which filters water, and dispenses sparkling water by adjusting temperatures, flavours, vitamins and electrolytes.
If your brand or business has recently launched or is in the process of launching a new water-based product, let’s start a conversation. This year’s World Beverage Innovation Awards has a number of categories celebrating water innovation, including: Best sparkling drink, Best functional drink and Best dispense concept.
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