HomeFoodVariety seekers, sugar avoiders drive sparkling water category

Variety seekers, sugar avoiders drive sparkling water category

SEATTLE — Sparkling water has bubbled over with progress and curiosity from shoppers in recent times. Sales of flavored sparkling water grew 24% between 2020 and 2021, in accordance with knowledge from Nielsen, with the category anticipated to expertise annual progress of almost 13% by 2028.

Sparkling water’s low sugar and calorie content material are a part of the enchantment, stated Chris Hall, chief government officer of Talking Rain Beverage Co., the maker of Sparkling Ice. Greater selection is also driving extra shoppers to the category.  

“We refer to our consumers in two key areas right now,” Mr. Hall stated. “There’s the variety seeker, the consumer who is trying multiple different items. Then there’s the sugar avoider, and that’s who our primary consumer is.”

Talking Rain started producing Sparkling Ice 30 years in the past. While the category has been round for fairly a while, the previous decade has seen explosive progress, stated Mr. Hall, who joined the corporate in 2018.

Chris HallChris Hall, CEO

“I think a couple of things happened,” he stated. “There was a change in the consumer mindset and the idea of better-for-you started shifting. I think that’s when people started gravitating to things like sparkling water. People want the carbonation, but they don’t want the sugar and calories. They still want to feel like they’re consuming something other than plain water.”

CPG firms like PepsiCo, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Co. are staking a declare within the house, however impartial manufacturers like Talking Rain’s Sparkling Ice and National Beverage Corp.’s La Croix nonetheless lead the category. Sparkling Ice has been the No. 1 sparkling water model for 23 consecutive IRI reporting intervals, relationship again to March 2020.

Package diversification and practical advantages are key areas of focus for Talking Rain. Launched 4 years in the past, Sparkling Ice + Caffeine is on observe to achieve $100 million in retail income this yr and has change into a big platform for the Seattle-based firm.

“We’re finding that the consumer wants a little bit more than just the refreshment,” Mr. Hall stated. “They want some functionality in terms of performance or energy.”

Familiar flavors are trending within the sparkling water category. Talking Rain has seen success with tried and true tastes like strawberry lemonade, its fastest-growing taste. It plans to introduce a watermelon lemon selection to its Sparkling Ice + Caffeine line.

Talking Rain is also increasing its attain within the alcoholic beverage house. The firm in 2020 launched Sparkling Ice Spiked, a tough seltzer beverage that includes zero sugar and 80 energy per can. Varieties embody lemonade refresher, strawberry citrus smash, cherry lime chiller and grapefruit smash. From idea to actuality, the product was developed in round six months, incomes 100% nationwide distribution in a yr and a half. The firm final month added Sparkling Ice Spiked Cocktails to its lineup. The new cocktail-inspired laborious seltzers are 6% alcohol, sugar free and are available two tropical flavors: mango mojito and strawberry margarita.

Launching and growing the alcoholic beverage line helped Talking Rain increase its capabilities, which is a key a part of its innovation technique, Mr. Hall stated.  

“In some cases, we may never actually launch it or do anything with a product, but we still want to make sure we’re up to speed,” he stated. “That’s what is neat about the alcohol line. It made us a more capable company. We’ve learned a lot through that process which we’re applying to the overall business.” 

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