Soft drinks are out and soda water is in, as mixologists and bartenders move away from high-sugar mixers. The ever-expanding range of flavoured sparkling water gives drinks creators more chances to experiment with flavours without increasing costs.
“The desire for unsweetened beverage options, along with consumer demand for more exotic flavours and unusual ingredients, is driving a trend toward more and more creative sparkling waters,” said Jenny Zegler, associate director of food and drink for Mintel. “Recently, innovation in this space has reached new heights. This summer expect to see less lemonade and more truly original mineral waters with natural flavours far beyond lemon or cucumber.”
La Croix is the main beneficiary, with the flavoured water already popular with millennials. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have also entered the flavoured water market. Locally, Vista Drinks has seen massive growth over the last year with their low-sugar soft-drink alternatives.
The shift is driven by a desire to bring “naturalness and flavour to the soft drink market and [present] alternatives to sugar and artificial ingredients,” according to Mintel.