The flavored water trends of 2023 build on recent years' evolution of packaged water products. Despite current economic worries, bottled water consumption is on the rise. Consumers are even still enjoying premium products, which they see as an affordable luxury symbol.
From emerging flavors to innovations in sustainability, here are the flavored water trends we're seeing in 2023.
Health Is on Everyone’s Mind
Wellness and self-care are increasingly central to daily routines in the current world. Proper hydration is encouraged more than ever, and successful brands are embracing functionality as a defining feature and positioning their products not just as delightful refreshments but as allies in the pursuit of health.
Brands can highlight their health-promoting capabilities by foregrounding the ingredients that promote hydration and immunity. This tells the consumer that they're reaping the full benefits of their flavored water.
Flavor and Price Drive Choices
Consumers cite price as the second-most important factor in choosing their top flavored water. The flavor is the priority, with 68% of respondents saying they decide based on flavor more than any other factor. However, consumers also consider sugar and calorie content.
Brands can help consumers find a flavor they like at a competitive price by offering bundled options with various flavors. This lets consumers explore emerging flavors that will excite their tastebuds in new ways and establish a connection with the brand.
Contemporary drinking culture is experiencing a renaissance of light, refreshing cocktails. From spritzes to artisanal concoctions, the world of cocktails has expanded beyond bars and lounges, finding its way into the homes and hands of individual consumers and influencing sparkling water trends.
The allure of cocktails lies in both their taste and their experience — a delightful fusion of flavors, aromas, and aesthetics. With their ability to deliver dynamic flavors in a light and refreshing way, top-flavored waters are major players in the cocktail world. This trend is underscored by a remarkable 143% increase in the use of sparkling water as a cocktail component between Q2 2019 and Q2 2022.
This shift in drinking culture has opened up intriguing avenues, aligning sparkling water brands as ideal partners in the creation of refreshing and innovative cocktails such as:
Ranch water: Tequila, lime juice, and sparkling water
Skinny Paloma: Tequila, lime juice, grapefruit juice, and grapefruit seltzer water
Gin spritzer: Gin, lemon juice, and lemon-lime soda water
Whiskey highball: Whiskey, lemon juice, and sparkling water
Emerging and Novel Flavors
While flavored water favorites lemon, lime, strawberry, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, and mango maintain their prominence, the flavored water landscape is experiencing a refreshing infusion of emerging and novel flavors. Pomegranate, hibiscus, passion fruit, and blood orange continue to hold consumers' attention. However, opportunities are available to explore newer tastes such as cucumber, raspberry, limoncello, calamansi, pina colada, and black raspberry. Novel flavors such as vanilla, guava, basil, caramel, lychee, black currant, ginseng, and green tea are intriguing consumers as well.
Successful brands are striking a balance between the comfort of familiar tastes and the excitement of emerging and novel flavors to create new consumer experiences. Some examples of exciting sparkling water flavors are:
Strawberry, lime, and basil
Mango and green tea
Cucumber and calamansi
Pineapple and guava
Vital Boosts Are Appealing
With the rising popularity of wellness and an awareness of personal health, consumers are looking for assistance in what they eat and drink. The flavored water trends of 2023 reflect this shift, as they align with the desires of consumers who seek more than just hydration — they seek an invigorating boost that complements their lifestyle and health aspirations.
An added boost of vitamins and electrolytes is at the forefront of consumers' minds as they seek increased hydration and nutrition through their daily drinks. Consumers also report enjoying added:
Fruits and vegetables
Omega-3 fatty acids
Consumers are also searching for another boost in their flavored water — caffeine. As a mid-afternoon revitalizer, caffeinated sparkling water resonates with the modern consumer's desire for a gentle, controlled energy infusion. Not only does it provide a natural stimulant, but it also caters to those seeking a refreshing beverage without the jitters associated with traditional energy drinks.
Sustainability Attracts Younger Consumers
A critical undercurrent weaving through the flavored water trends of 2023 is the younger generation's commitment to sustainability. As environmental concerns take center stage, brands are grappling to address the eco-footprint of their products. This is especially true when considering top water trends, given the environmental issues surrounding bottled water.
Younger consumers — Gen Z and millennials — are leading the charge in the consumption of goods that embrace environmental protection. As the bottled water industry navigates its environmental stigma, brands are embracing sustainability claims encompassing every facet of their product, from responsible water sourcing to eco-friendly packaging materials and support for organizations seeking to help the natural world.
Staying On Top of Emerging Trends
As flavored water trends evolve in response to changing consumer preferences, staying in touch with emerging trends is vital. Consumers' focus on health, flavor, and affordability reflects a collective consciousness where individuals seek luxury and quality without compromising on economic feasibility. In 2023's flavored water trends, brands that harmonize functionality, flavor, luxury, affordability, and sustainable practices are poised to flourish.
Ultimately, brands that stay on top of flavored water favorites have the opportunity to shape the future of the market. By embracing change, celebrating innovation, and fostering a deep connection with consumers, flavored water brands can forge a pathway to success in a world where health, flavor, and value coalesce.
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