Water products flooded Natural Products Expo West this year and with good reason: Bottled water surpassed soda as the No. 1 drink sold in the United States in 2016.
The sugar backlash certainly has fed the trend, but purveyors say reports of lead contamination and other frightening news about what exists in municipal water supplies has people turning to a seemingly secure source.
Traditional brands Dasani and Aquafina accounted for about one-fourth of bottled sales in 2016. But that’s not what excited at expo.
Today’s twist means major function, enhanced flavor and fizz, superior sourcing and the latest in plant waters.
Functional bottled water sales in the United States reached $2.19 billion in 2015 and were projected to hit $2.88 billion by 2020, according to Statista.
- Sportwater focuses on electrolyte boosting with magnesium, calcium and potassium.
- Oxigen promises a superboost of oxygen with its active ingredient, activated stabilized oxygen, an O4 molecule.
- Vitanourish boosts its alkaline and hydration story with vitamins C, B1, B3, B5 and B6. Don’t expect the full daily allowance, but the makers say absorption is key.
- Britewater, like many sport waters, includes pH balance and electrolytes. This one adds a little caffeine, too, from green coffee bean.
- Hello Water puts 5 grams of fiber forward with its flavored water line.
- Wanu, too, focuses on fiber with 6 grams and 10 additional nutrients, with B12 the standout.
- CORE Nutrition added flavors and immunity to its pH-balanced CORE Organic water with the addition of inactivated cultures from the Bacillus coagulans probiotic strain. The new flavors are Orange Mango and Cherry Berry Lime.
Flavored and sparkling waters
Credit flavored waters for making it easier to sack soda. Add carbonation, and it’s a win-win. The sparkles of water have even spread to other beverages including tea and juice (and not just the old sparking apple juice champagne stand-in).
- Rethink makes water fun for kids with colorful packaging and a punch of fruit flavor. The small Tetra Pak fits perfect into school lunches and snack bags.
- Hint took off with its “just a hint of flavor” approach. Now it has fizz.
- Ax Water seeks to give the aronia berry a bigger stage in the United States. The company unveiled a new look for its fruit-forward waters that tout the superberry’s antioxidants, fiber anti-inflammatory properties.
- Zola added sparkles to its plant-based functional beverage line. The Organic Sparkling Energy Waters feature a caffeine boost from green coffee, green tea and yerba mate extracts in flavors including Pink Grapefruit, Blackberry Cucumber, Blood Orange and Lemon Lime.
For some, the source is the story. Natural alkalinity and minerals. Filtered by nature. Pure taste.
- Waiakea is proud of its sourcing and mission. The Hawaiian water’s source is 2,400 miles from the nearest industrial landmass. Meanwhile, purchases of the product provide one week of water for those in need via Pump Aid.
- CForce packs the celebrity punch of Chuck Norris. The water comes from an artesian spring on his Lone Wolf Ranch in Texas.
- Jackson Springs Water bottles limited batch quantities of its gold-medal-winning water. In 2012, the company took gold for “Best Tasting Water in the World.” This year it won a bronze. The stylish label and glass bottle have also garnered design awards.
- Salvare la Vita Water, associated with Zen Basil (which is a must-try), bottles water from the Sierra Mountains with a mission: 50 clean water wells in 10 countries. Each bottle purchased creates 31 liters of safe water in countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda. Bonus: The carbon-neutral company invests in reforestation projects to offset its carbon footprint.
Tree and plant waters
Coconut water introduced Americans to alternatively sourced water. Now the seed’s cousins are getting all the attention.
- Sap Maple Seltzer and Soda have been in the spotlight because of a Shark Tank appearance and being called out by Whole Foods Market as a 2018 trend. The company donates 1 percent of its revenue to support causes and organizations that help protect forests and promote regenerative agriculture practices.
- Yonale Birch Water taps birch trees in spring when root pressure occurs. Yonale boasts of the natural, highly concentrated minerals captured in this process.
- Asarasi sources from the nearly 1 billion gallons of pure tree filtered water that is a byproduct of the maple industry. Add carbonation and bottle in glass, and you have Asarasi.
- Verday Chlorophyll Water touts the life-giving green as a superfood the support weight control, youthful skin and oxygenation with bonus anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. One bottle has the chlorophyll of 4 cups of the spinach, according to company material.