The versatility and widespread appeal of these drinks are making them more than a just a passing fad.
When the flavored sparkling water trend started to really take off a few years ago, many people called it a fad. When this trend evolved and joined forces with the nascent movement towards hard seltzers, craft beer enthusiasts were shocked and appalled. Those who said it was just the latest trend and was bound to fail were wrong. With Coca-Cola rolling out AHA water and Pepsi backing Bubly, it’s safe to say sparkling water, whether hard or soft, is here to stay. Here is what to expect as these low-calorie fizzy drinks continue to dominate the beverage sphere.
- More flavors! As the big beverage companies get more involved with the sparkling water market, they will try to set themselves apart from the competition. How can they do it? By making lots and lots of interesting flavors. AHA water is a relative newcomer to the field and it’s setting itself apart with great flavor combinations. Other makers have pivoted to seasonal flavors, as seen in this last holiday season with flavors like cranberry and pumpkin spice. It seems a new flavor drops every other day from another producer. There will be hits and there will be misses but, either way it’ll be interesting.
- More variety! This is especially true of the hard seltzer market. You are starting to see companies take hard seltzer and put a twist on it. As seen with hard seltzer brand Truly drinks, these companies are really pushing things forward. They have gone from just a few flavors of hard seltzer to having five separate lines. The original seltzer line has been joined by lemonades, iced teas, boozy punches and margaritas. You’re also seeing moves into more floral and herbal flavors, especially in the craft sparkling sectors.
- Innovation! Truly drinks’ main selling point of their margarita line is that it has a salty side that others don’t have. This is a clue to where the seltzer scene is going next. There’s going to be a turn away from sickly sweet to drinks with more salty and sour notes. AHA water has also introduced two varieties that have caffeine added to them. Innovations like this are great if you are in need a bit of a pick me up.
- Nutrition! When you reach for a cold one, odds are you aren’t considering the nutritional value, but that doesn’t mean these companies aren’t covering all their bases. More and more brands are touting added vitamins and minerals in both their hard and soft water varieties, with some even offering electrolytes and protein for added benefits (and maybe reduced risk of a hangover)!
- Promotions! In the hard seltzer arena, you’ve seen an explosion in advertising. There are TV and print ads everywhere now. There are even in-arena ads during sporting events. The object is to get the word out and every major beverage corporation wants a piece of the pie. This can be good for the consumer. There are surely going to be giveaways and deep discounts for new products.