Guest article

From flavour to fizz: How Highland Spring has created its portfolio of children's drinks

By Mike Buckland, marketing controller, Highland Spring Group

- Last updated on GMT

Highland Spring's flavoured cans. Pic:Highland Spring
Highland Spring's flavoured cans. Pic:Highland Spring

Related tags: Uk, Bottled water

The whole beverage industry is being shaped by a shift towards healthier products - but what does that mean for kids’ drinks? Mike Buckland of Highland Spring Group, parent company of UK bottled water brand Highland Spring, looks at the trends carving out the market and how the company has shaped its portfolio as a result.

It's always been a worry of parents to supply unhealthy snacks and drinks to their children and ensure lunch boxes are nutritious and fresh. Now, more than ever, health and wellbeing is at the front of our minds, with many people being more aware of what they are consuming than ever before.

Despite guidelines suggesting 5-8 year olds should have five glasses of water (one litre) a day, on average most children are consuming less than 2 glasses. One in three parents struggle to get their child to drink water generally and eight in 10 are convinced they rarely get enough fluids*.

A healthy hydration routine is key to children and integral to a healthy growth, but also reducing dehydration and its associated side effects. 

Lunchbox essentials

For young children at primary school, Highland Spring’s eco Wild-Life 6 x 330ml Kids’ Pack is an ideal option. The perfect size for lunchboxes or for children to take into the playground, the pack also helps educate children on the importance of healthy hydration and recycling as well as helps to make hydration fun.

Each bottle is made from 100% recycled plastic and features one of six characters making up the Wild-Life Gang. Annie, Archie and the Gang have a thirst for adventure and enjoy regular hydration top-ups before recycling their bottle for an adventure of its own.

With the health of future generations remaining very much at the forefront of our minds, natural source water can play a key role in helping children stay healthily hydrated throughout the day.

Natural source water is free from calories, sugar, preservatives and additives. It’s also convenient and refreshing, making it a great option for parents when planning lunch boxes and their children’s hydration needs.

Plain bottled water is also versatile and available in still and sparkling varieties, as well as various size formats, making it suitable for consumption throughout the school day or during after-school clubs.

Convenience is key for kids, too

While younger primary school children rely on their parents to provide their refreshments, pupils at secondary school often have more freedom, and convenience continues to be a key purchase driver. Within the bottled water category, ‘drink now’ formats are now worth over £172.5m in the convenience channel**.

'Many parents rely on sparkling water to encourage hydration as the fizziness makes it a more exciting option for children'

As a leading water brand, Highland Spring’s ‘drink now’ must stock formats include Highland Spring 500ml in both screw and sports cap versions and 750ml and 1ltr sports caps, which are perfect for on-the-go or to have on hand for after school activities.

Older children are also more inclined to try sparkling water. Research shows that many parents struggle to get their children to drink water and they often rely on sparkling water to encourage hydration as the fizziness makes it a more exciting option for children.

A healthier alternative to fizzy drinks, the plain sparkling water subcategory is now worth over £14.9m in convenience with Highland Spring recording a value of £5.7m**.

The increased interest in sparkling water makes it a must stock for retailers as parents look to offer a more exciting, but equally healthy alternative to plain still water. It offers parents the chance to make the occasion a little more special encouraging children to drink more often, pleasing both parents and children.

Finally, for children looking for a little dash of flavour, Highland Spring’s flavoured cans are another great option. Available in three different flavours – Blackberry, Plum & Hibiscus, Apple & Elderflower and Rhubarb & Ginger - and at under 35 calories per can, the product is perfect for both children and adults alike who are looking for a healthier fizzy drink option to enjoy, whilst keeping hydrated.

About Highland Spring Group:​ ​Highland Spring Group, parent company of the Highland Spring brand, is the leading producer of bottled water to the UK market. Bottling more than 550 million litres of water a year, the Highland Spring Group produces brands including Highland Spring, Hydr8 and a range of private-label flavoured and unflavoured waters for some of the UK’s major supermarkets and foodservice retailers.

Highland Spring is one of six bottled water producers to sign up to the UK Plastics Pact – a unique pact between governments, businesses, local authorities, and consumers to transform the UK’s plastics system.

* Dr Emma Derbyshire, Easy Peel Oranges

** Nielsen Value Sales GB Total Impulse MAT 09.10.21

Related topics: Industry Voices, Soft Drinks & Water

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