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Consumers have spoken! Sparkling water is the up-and-coming star of non-alcoholic beverages. Sales have increased dramatically between 2009 and 2014, from $635 million to $1.6 billion with forecasts reaching nearly $3.6 billion by 2019, in this category.* The segment has the potential to capture a greater share of the U.S. bottled water market due to its carbonation, increasing flavor range, and health and wellness benefits. Mintel forecasts that sparkling water is expected to see the strongest growth, 75.1%, of all bottled water segments through 2015-2020.

In addition to leading within the bottled water category, sparkling water has also been attracting carbonated soft drink consumers. The familiar fizzy sensation without the calories has lured in the consumers who want the featured health benefits, but are weary of leaving behind the bubbly mouthfeel that soda gives. Sparkling waters are continuing to excel due to carbonation being seen as a “value-added” trait over regular bottled water.

To continue to spark the interest of consumers, manufacturers within the sparkling water category have increased innovations by consistently rejuvenating the segment with new flavor combinations. In addition to the popular lemon and lime flavors, the market has introduced black cherry, plum, coconut, mint, ginger, blueberry, and cucumber flavored sparkling waters.

Experts say health-and-wellness trends are one factor driving many consumers toward bottled water, specifically flavored bottled water, as an alternative to CSDs. ** Eighty-three percent of consumers want some sort of nutritional or functional benefit such as energy in their waters. *** They are shifting their interests towards “Better-For-You” alternatives such as low-calorie, unsweetened to lightly naturally sweetened waters which is driving the consumption of the sparkling category.

Consumers deserve to be heard, so why not listen and give them what they want? RC Cola’s Columbus Innovation Center  is able able to create these fun, healthy sparkling water drinks and many more. Focusing on each market's taste profile, the CIC team has the freedom to customize the flavors that will be most popular in a specific region to appeal to the consumer. For more information, visit the Columbus Innovation Center web page and fill out the form to be contacted. 

 

*Mintel, Sparkling/Enhanced/Flavored Water, April 2015
**Beverage Industry, 2016 State of the Industry: Bottled water market has potential to surpass CSDs
***Mintel, Bottled Water, U.S., January 2016
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