Water to be tasty in the new year

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bottled water

Several major beverage companies plan to begin selling flavored
water early next year, a move that could bost their sales in the
rapidly growing bottled water market, according to a report by the
Associated Press (AP) this week.

The Coca-Cola Co will apparently sell two flavors of water namely lemon and raspberry under its Dasani brand, that will first be available in the first quarter of 2005.

At the same time, writes AP, PepsciCo will introduce FlavorSplash and Aquafina Sparkling. FlavorSplash will come in raspberry, citrus blend and wild berry, while Aquafina Sparkling will be available in original, lemon lime and berry.

Over in Europe, Swiss-based Nestle is said to have plans to offer a non-sparkling flavored water, Nestle Pure Life, in orange, lemon, strawberry and raspberry flavors starting in the first quarter of 2005. The company already offers a flavored water in sparkling varieties under its Perrier and Poland Spring brands.

British-based Cadbury Schweppes PLC has tested a flavored water and had one on the market until about 2002, but doesn't plan a new one in the near future, according to a spokesperson. The company currently offers a bottled spring water, Snap2-0, and a filtered water, Deja Blue.

In 2003 beverage industry volume was 13.48 billion 192-ounce cases, a 3.2 percent increase from the prior year, according to a report by Fitch Rating last month. During this period, carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) represented around 29 percent of US volume and $63.9 billion of retail value. Forty percent of last year's remaining sales volume was roughly divided between beer and milk, with about 11 percent each, and coffee and bottled water with 9 percent each.

Despite CSD's leading hold on the market, it trailed the pack as far as growth was concerned, increasing by only 1 percent, while bottled water volume - including vitamin added varieties - grew by almost 22 percent and non-carbonated drinks by 4.7 percent.

Fitch noted that categories such as bottled water and sports drinks have grown because consumers associate them with a healthier lifestyle.

Related topics: R&D, Soft Drinks & Water

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