Sparkling waters with a hint of flavor are shaking up bottled water sales.
Fueling the effervescent ascent are health-conscious consumers habituated to colas, orange sodas and lemon-lime CSDs, but looking for a no-calorie option with natural ingredients.
Offering all of the fizz with none of the sugar are sparkling waters with a touch of mint mojito, ginger lemonade, raspberry lime and other exciting flavors.
Domestic sparklers accounted for just 2.6% of the bottled water market in the first half of 2012, according to Beverage Marketing Corp., but as Americans look for alternatives to soda, new entrants are fueling aggressive growth.
Read more: Supermarkets Spotlight Low-Sugar Teas
“If I had to pick one trend that was crucial and key in the beverage universe today it would be people wanting healthier refreshment,” said Gary Hemphill, senior vice president of information services, Beverage Marketing Corp., New York. “Carbonated soft drinks are still far and away the No. 1 beverage category in the U.S. in terms of consumption but it’s had modest declines as people migrate to other categories and products they think are healthier.”
Indeed, a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the number of Americans who drink calorie-free or low-calorie versions of soda, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks or carbonated waters each day has grown to about one in five.
Carbonated alternatives to soda provide the same pop with sales of plain and flavored sparkling/mineral waters up 26.5% across food, drug and mass channels during the year ending Sept. 9, according to SymphonyIRI Group. They are projected to rise 43% through 2016, finds Mintel.