The bottled water category encompasses plain water (such as mineral, spring, or purified water); flavoured water; and functional water.
But where are the up-and-coming areas of innovation – and what opportunities do they offer the industry?
Speaking during the conference this week, Esther Renfrew, market intelligence director, Zenith, picked out three areas she expects to see grow in the future.
Down with the kids
Research into the importance of hydration among children has been gaining exposure; and this opportunity has not gone unnoticed by the industry, said Renfrew.
“Children are a very important target, their parents understand the need for hydration for their child. There’s been a lot of research about concentration levels, what children are drinking, what they should be drinking. We see the industry getting involved in that category, and that’s exciting.”
Innovation in the category extends to aspects such as caps and closures, she added.
Examples of products in the children’s category include Panda Splash (UK) and Drink Blocks (a California-based brand with connectable and stackable building block packaging).
Energizing the category
Energy is another area that resonates with consumers – and Renfrew expects to see water build on this.
“Energy drinks have certainly done very well [traditional drinks like Red Bull]; but we’re seeing that move in to other categories, a blurring here” she said. “Energy waters are something we’ve seen become much more prevalent in the last few years.”
Examples include Rockstar energy water (launched in 2015 in Peach & Blueberry and Pomegranate & Acai); and Glaceau vitaminwater energy.
Like energy, protein has made its mark in other categories – and now is being seen in waters.
“Protein is another area that’s been a hot topic, particularly in the food industry. A lot of products have been generally launched in the protein area, typically historically associated with body builders, but people are understanding protein is an important aspect of the diet.”
“I would expect we’ll probably see more protein waters going forward, along with energy waters.”
Protein2o, as an example, has 15 g of protein in a 16.9 oz serve.