New drinks review: aiming for a purer water

Packaging trends currently appear to be firmly focused on the environment, as a search of Productscan this month highlights. Traditional glass and plastic bottles are being replaced by more environmentally friendly lightweight pouches and biodegradable materials, emphasizing how companies are bowing down to enhanced public concern on 'green' issues.

The Good Water Company has capitalized on the growth of the bottled water market with the launch of the Good Organic Spring Water in New Zealand. The bottled water claims to be 'greener' than traditional water brands as it is packaged in a biodegradable bottle that is made from natural plant sugars. It also features a label made from wood cellulose that is derived from sustainable managed forest resources. With the water itself reportedly being certified as organic, this brand would appear to tick all the right boxes as an ethical product.

Another 'greener' water bottle has been launched in the US by Nestle Waters North America. Ozarka Natural Spring Water is now presented in an Eco-Shape half liter bottle, which is said to use less plastic than conventional bottles, claiming to be the lightest plastic half liter bottle available on the market. The bottle is described as feeling 'crunchy' to the touch and has a 'grab and go' shape to make it easier to carry around. While 'crunchy' may seem an odd way to describe this packaging innovation, its environmental credentials, backed by an easy-to-carry shape, could enhance consumer interest in this product.

Further packaging innovations have been reported in the wine and spirits markets. In Canada, Siptop Packaging has launched the IV Iced Vodka, which is a frozen ready-to-drink vodka mix presented in a plastic pouch with a long neck. The consumer can drink it straight from the packaging, with the neck acting as a straw, or can pour it into a glass. The company states the product uses 95% less packaging than other rigid containers, making drinking it an almost guilt-free activity.

In South Africa, Stellenbosch Farmers' Winery has launched its Versus Wine in a new light-weight wine pouch. The pouch comes with a carry handle and an easy pour spout and is said to be designed to extend drinking occasions "beyond the usual". The pouch could encourage the wine to be taken to outdoor events and parties, where a glass bottle would be unsuitable.

Meanwhile, a new energy drink has been introduced in the Australian market which is also presented in novel packaging. The Superman Energy Drink from Hero Australia is said to come in a can which glows in the dark. This could make it ideal for nightclubs, where the Superman moniker would be displayed to its best advantage.

Finally, Aquadeco has launched a new spring water in the US which is presented in a custom-designed glass bottle. Instead of concentrating on environmentally friendly packaging, the Aquadeco Premium Spring Water is packaged in a highly decorative glass bottle. The fancy design of the bottle would not look out of place at a wedding reception, and could offer an alternative to champagne to celebrate the new bride and groom.

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