- The sparkling water category is catching on in the U.S., and category sales increased 16.2% to more than $1.4 billion for the 52 weeks ending July 12 in U.S. multi-outlets, according to IRI.
- Sparkling water has been a hit at a wide range of outlets, including supermarkets, drug stores, gas and convenience stores, mass merchandisers, military commissaries, and select club and dollar retail chains.
- Some players in the sparkling water market, such as VitaminFIZZ and SodaStream, have branched out to expand their flavor portfolios to compete with other beverage categories.
This surge runs in accordance to SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum's prediction that sparkling water is "the future of beverage." SodaStream is rebranding itself as a sparkling water maker rather than an at-home soda maker.
As sales for soda decline and consumers turn away from other sugary beverages in general, this leaves room for other categories to take their place as consumers' favorite drinks, which have included bottled water, ready-to-drink tea, and sparkling water.
VitaminFIZZ must be mindful of its sweetness, as the product contains sucralose, especially since the FDA recently released recommendations for a cap on daily sugar intake. It also contains sugar alcohol, which helps the company stand out. What is working for the company is the marketing strategy for its sparkling water drinks, which is mainly based on product sampling of its six flavors rather than traditional or in-store marketing, at least for now.
"For us, the efficient spending of marketing dollars is product promotion or product demonstration and sampling in stores," V. Scott Vanis, chairman and CEO of Minerco Resources Inc., which owns VitaminFIZZ, told Beverage Industry. "That’s really what we focus on for our marketing. As we continue to grow and expand into more markets, I’m sure that will change."