Channel Check

It’s easy to disrespect the Coke purchase of Glaceau, but taken together, the company brands have sold $1.3 billion in IRI-tracked channels in the past year; that puts the whole Coke water system at $2.2 billion, well ahead of PepsiCo. Smartwater has nearly eclipsed Vitaminwater, it’s true – but that gives the red system a premium-priced alternative to Dasani and a brand architecture that many brands would only dream of (NWNA was certainly dreaming of it when it launched Resource Water last year, for example.) Still, next year’s Vitaminwater relaunch will be a big moment for Coke, as the tailspin for that brand has continued throughout the fall. With Sparkling Ice moving more strongly into convenience, the Glaceau unit had better be ready for a fight in 2014.