- While major beverage brands like Coca-Cola Co. and Nestle have entered the sparkling water category over the past few years, the segment continues to be dominated by their main competitor: LaCroix.
- LaCroix's sales have increased 45% since last year to an estimated $175 million, Jeffrey Klineman, editor-in-chief of BevNet told Bloomberg.
- Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Inc. both lost market share in the water industry between 2010 and 2014, 4% and 5.5% respectively, even though they've released new products. During the same time, National Beverage Corp., which owns LaCroix, increased its market share by 67%.
Sparkling water, like ready-to-drink tea and sports drinks, are seen as alternatives to soda, which consumers deem unhealthy. This is in part due to soda's traditionally high content of sugar and artificial sweeteners, which have stirred controversy among some consumers.
But not all consumers are turned off by sugar levels and are instead choosing natural and craft sodas. These brands tend to use more real and natural ingredients, the common thread in what consumers consider healthy today. According to new research from Mintel, nearly three in five American adults believe that when carbonated soft drinks are made with natural ingredients, they are healthier choices than carbonated soft drinks made with artificial ingredients.
Craft soda is still catching on, with about two-thirds of consumers not currently drinking craft, but about 44% of those non-craft soda drinkers expressed interest in trying it. About 40% of consumers already drink natural sodas, particularly parents and millennials.
As a dig into its soda competition, LaCroix has introduced one of its newest sparkling water flavors: Cola.