Nestle Waters is launching a Nestea range of liquid water enhancers to provide its the taste of the RTD tea in a 'portable, customizable' form, and plans to market the product alongside bottled waters Pure Life, Poland Spring, Arrowhead and Ozarka.
The concentrate is made from real tea leaves, has zero calories and uses natural flavors, and will be launched exclusive this month in Target stores in Iced Tea with Lemon, Iced Tea with Peace and Half & Half Iced Tea variants.
A Green Tea Citrus flavor will be available in November via other outlets including C-stores and grocery stores; to drive uptake the concentrate will be marketed alongside Nestle Waters' North America bottled water brands (listed above), and consumers will get a special deal if they buy both.
'Convenient, fun-to-use product'
Use of the concentrate involves shaking the bottle (52ml, 26 servings) and squeezing the enhancer into a bottle or glass of water, then stirring to mix.
Sara Hilliard, Nestea senior marketing manager, said: "We're thrilled to bring to market a product that makes delicious tea enjoyment just a glass or bottle of water away."
"Nestea Liquid Water Enhancers allow iced tea fans a way to get the refreshment they crave through this convenient, fun-to-use product," she added.
After Coke launched a similar (albeit non-tea based) concentrate product, Dasani, last September, and Kraft launched Mio water liquid enhancer in March 2011, we asked Mintel global drinks analyst, Sarah Theodore, what the rationale was for large beverage brands moving into drops.
Convenience and customization
Was it a case of health and wellness benefits, profit (good margins on a concentrated product in a small pack), or were the large firms tilting at an 'on the go' convenience trend?
"Convenience is certainly one benefit these brands are trying to offer," Theodore said.
"Enhancers eliminate a lot of the preparation involved in other beverage mixes such as powdered drinks and frozen concentrates," she added.
"But the bigger innovation with liquid concentrates is that they allow for customization in terms of flavor strength, mixing flavors, and what you mix them with. There have not been many options that have allowed that in the past," Theodore said.