Move puts company in tight competition with Coca-Cola
United Kingdom PepsiCo has bought UK vitamin-water brand V Water in a deal that pits the food-and-drink giant against its arch rival Coca-Cola.
The acquisition turns up the heat in the UK's functional-waters market, which is expected to grow from $60 million last year to $460 million in 2010, according to Euromonitor figures.
It also comes against a backdrop of declining carbonates sales in the UK, where consumers are opting instead for what they perceive to be healthier products. TNS Worldpanel data show the market for colas, for example, fell 0.4 per cent last year.
The V Water line was launched in 2005, and consists of six flavour variants made with spring water and contains added vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts, including vitamin C, zinc, selenium and ginseng.
Garrett Quigley, general manager, PepsiCo UK and Ireland, said, "V Water provides us with a strong platform for expansion into a fast-growing market, and reflects PepsiCo's global commitment to transforming our portfolio of products and extending our range of healthier beverages.
"The UK is a key market for us, and we are extremely excited about developing a relationship with V Water in the UK, which will enhance and contribute to the long-term growth of the V Water brand."
The timing of the deal means PepsiCo will go head-to-head with Coca-Cola, which is launching its Glaceau Vitaminwater in the UK this summer, following its acquisition of the brand a year ago for $4.1 billion.