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As fancy waters take the fight to their soft drink cousins, is it time for a Scottish new wave of innovative, healthy-flavoured waters?

Jug of water with fresh limes

What’s the future of the soft drinks industry? 

In the blue corner you’ve got the title-holder, the sugary soft drinks champ, weighed down by a change in consumer taste and the impending 2018 tax levy on their sugar content. 

In the red corner is the scrappy young challenger, the sugar-free and naturally flavoured water, answering buyers’ demands for healthier drinks. 

Could this then be the perfect time for Scotland to enter the ring? 

A new wave of flavoured water

Bottled water is seeing strong growth in volume sales due to a shift in health attitudes. According to Kantar Worldpanel, take-home value sales for bottled water increased by 7% up to £472 million and a volume increase of 11.4% in 2017. Plain water accounts for 77% of the total GB bottled water market, with growth of 10.6% up to £797 million in sales. 

A recent flavoured water study, conducted by Comax Flavors in March 2017, shows that water with berries, citrus, tropical fruit, and honey flavours, are going to be the most popular in 2018. With 60% of the 500 survey participants saying the most important factor when buying beverages is flavour, followed by price and health benefits.

Imposters aren't cutting it

Health is an ever present thought though for many consumers, and they are looking to the industry to respond. 

They're concerned about the levels of sugar and artificial ingredients in all drinks, and the current flux of flavoured waters masquerading as healthy alternatives aren’t fooling them.

So a gap in the market for healthy, sugar-free, naturally-flavoured water is opening up, and showing signs of potential for real growth in Scotland's food and drink sector. 

Innovation Innovation Innovation 

One thing is for sure though, it’s through innovation that all roads will lead to Scottish success. As a growing number of innovative flavoured water brands join companies like no&more, Ugly and Glacéau Smartwater, to fight for a piece of the market. 

Get More is a new vitamin water brand and its Get More Vitamin D drink achieved strong growth with sales of £2 million, a very healthy rise of 67% in 2017. 

No 1 Rosemary Water launched in 2017, hit the market with talk of health benefits such as anticarcinogenic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Brand giant Volvic weighed in too, with a £3 million campaign this year pushing forward its flavoured, sugar-free Touch of Fruit drinks.

This market activity is just waiting for Scottish buy-in and that's where we come in. With changing customer taste and incoming legislation, there's a real drive for innovation within the bottled water and soft drinks sector, and we can help you take a share of the market.

Seizing opportunities

Together with our partners at Scotland Food & Drink, we have set up Our Make Innovation Happen service specifically aimed at helping businesses grow through innovation. We're here to help if you're looking for support on:

  • New product development 
  • Adding value to your business 
  • Exploring new ideas around processes or employees

Whatever questions you have, our expert business innovation connectors have all the answers, and when you have even more questions, they’ll have even more answers. 

With expert knowledge in upskilling SMEs, grant funding, and food science and technology, they know all there is to know about growing companies. So take the first step in your innovation journey with us today.

Speak to one of our innovation connectors