Ginseng, ashwagandha and dandelion: How smartwater+ created its unique flavor combinations

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

smartwater+ launched with three flavors in March. Pic: Coca-Cola
smartwater+ launched with three flavors in March. Pic: Coca-Cola

Related tags: The coca-cola company

Premium water smartwater+ launched this year with three flavor pairings; and an additional flavor is set to follow next year.

Coca-Cola's smartwater+ draws on unique flavor pairings tailored for specific wellness occasions: for example ginseng and green tea features in its 'clarity' drink; while ashwaganda and tangerine features in its tranquility drink. 

Flavor inspiration: luxury spas to wellness focus

For many years the smartwater brand, founded in 1996, had focused on its unflavored vapor distilled water with added electrolytes: propelled globally by a 12-year partnership with Jennifer Aniston. In 2019 it branched out into smartwater alkaline and smartwater antioxidant.

In 2020, flavored varieties entered the scene: with the smartwater still flavors inspired by the growing popularity of lightly flavored, fruit-infused spa-inspired waters (cucumber lime, watermelon mint, strawberry blackberry and pineapple kiwi).

With the launch of smartwater+ this year, the brand has now shifted its focus to the concept of wellness. The smartwater team conducted research to identify the most important wellness routines in core consumers’ lives.

From there, nutrition scientists determined which ingredients and flavors paired best with a particular wellness occasion, while keeping the pure, crisp taste of smartwater intact.

The brand tested different combinations to bring the most premium and palatable pairings to market and, ultimately, pursued those that were most popular with consumers: launching with three flavors in March:

  • smartwater+ clarity, with ginseng and green tea extracts, for those looking to “plus up" moments of mental focus
  • smartwater+ tranquility, with ashwagandha and tangerine extracts, for those looking to “plus up” moments of emotional calmness
  • smartwater+ renew, with dandelion and lemon extracts, for those looking to “plus up” moments of revitalization

smartwater+ is now readying to launch a new flavor, smartwater+ support, next year.

Premium water category growth

Taking smartwater into the flavored territory has been done with the aim of embracing the success of premium water and attracting new consumers into the category.  

“The premium water category is a growing segment across all regions and channels,” ​Erica Misener, Marketing Brand Assistant, smartwater, The Coca-Cola Company, told us.

“Most of this growth is coming from enhanced waters as consumers adopt health as the new wealth. smartwater+ was designed to deliver the hydration benefits consumers are seeking while successfully bringing new customers to the brand.

“In fact, smartwater+ has been so well-received that we are launching an additional flavor, smartwater+ support, in March 2022.”

Each smartwater+ option contains 10 calories and is offered in a new 700-ml bottle with a translucent label and champagne-colored text and closure. Like all smartwater beverages, they are vapor-distilled for purity, include electrolytes to enhance taste, are free of sugar and contain natural ingredients. 

Such attributes have become more and more important with the pandemic, adds Misener.

“In 2020, we saw a shift in consumers’ habits towards taking a more proactive and holistic approach to their personal wellness. As consumers are becoming more health-conscious, we are seeing an increase in the consumption of beverages that are refreshing without containing as much sugar or calories. Consumers are looking for zero-sugar drinks, functional beverages and options that they consider “better-for-you,” while also seeking comfort and indulgence from familiar brands they love.”

Smartwater’s flavored options range will expand further in 2022: both with the new smartwater+ support and a new smartwater (still) flavor: passionfruit mango.

“As a total beverage company, The Coca-Cola Co. offers beverages across a wide range of categories. As consumers demand variety in hydration options, smartwater leads the water category with numerous naturally infused flavor varieties.”

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