Carbonated water sales sparkle
Carbonated soft drinks have taken a back-seat to other beverage categories as consumers look to flavored still and sparkling waters with a lower calorie count and a healthier profile.
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“As consumers increasingly avoid sugary drinks, such as soda and juice, they are migrating toward bottled water in all its forms, particularly sparkling water,” said Amy Kraushaar, U.S. categories manager of food and drink and food service at Mintel.
IRI data showed that while convenience still water dollar sales were up a meager 2% in the drug store channel, dollar sales in the seltzer/sparkling/mineral water segment leaped ahead nearly 12% for the 52-weeks ended Sept. 6. Across multi-outlets, convenience still water sales were up 6% and sparkling waters were ahead 14%. Talking Rain and Dr Pepper Snapple Group saw double-digit increases in dollar sales in the drug channel, while Coca-Cola saw triple-digit increases.
“Flavored and unflavored sparkling seltzer waters from both our Schweppes and Canada Dry brands are doing extremely well,” said Chris Barnes, a spokesperson for DPSG. “We’re continuing to expand distribution and availability.”
Talking Rain’s Sparkling Ice has been a category star, with a nearly 43% leap in dollar share in the drug channel for the 52-week period ended Sept. 6. A number of other manufacturers, including Arizona Beverage Co.’s Skinnygirl Sparklers flavored waters and private-label products, are also occupying the flavored sparkling water segment. CVS/pharmacy recently devoted an endcap to its Gold Emblem flavored waters priced at 99 cents.
“Consumers are moving away from classic carbonated soft drinks, but still have a desire for refreshment that only sparkling beverages can provide,” said Kevin Klock, CEO of Sparkling Ice. “Right now, there is strong consumer demand for a beverage that not only offers refreshment and bold flavor, but serves as a traditional soft drink alternative.” Klock said that beverages with little to no calories are trending right now, as consumers seek healthier alternatives.
Mintel said it expected sparkling water sales, in particular, to grow rapidly as consumers look for alternatives to CSDs but desire a similar carbonated sensation and array of flavors. “Enhanced brands should also help grow sales, as consumers increasingly expect their beverage selections to provide some type of extra hydration or nutritional benefit, such as added electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, protein and energy,” said Kraushaar.