As consumers increasingly shun conventional soda, many have turned to carbonated water to get their fizzy fix — and sales of the beverage are booming. With demand on the rise, a number of bottled water producers have added a line of carbonated products to their offerings, the latest being Smartwater.
The Coca-Cola-owned brand yesterday announced the launch of Smartwater Sparkling, which will roll out to select retailers, including upscale dining locations and hotels, online sites and club stores, in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami this month.
“Smartwater Sparkling is the innovation that our fans have been waiting for,” Caroline Kibler, Director of Smartwater, said in a company release. “Smartwater Sparkling, with its crisp and refreshing effervescence, is a new way to elevate consumer experiences.”
As with the brand’s still water products, Smartwater Sparkling will be vapor distilled and infused with electrolytes. It will initially be available in a 1 L bottle with a suggested retail price of $1.99. Coca-Cola said that it will add more packages and sizes for the sparkling variety in 2016 and expand distribution of the product to additional markets throughout the country.
The launch follows Icelandic Glacial’s entry into sparkling water, with the brand debuting a new carbonated line in June, and Voss’ addition of two flavored varieties to its carbonated offerings. The new Voss products debuted at the 2015 National Association of Convenience Stores show, where Coca-Cola showcased an extension of its Dasani Sparking line and PepsiCo teased Aquafina Sparkling, a line of flavored carbonated waters.
From 2011 to 2014, U.S. sales of carbonated water products more than doubled to $1.49 billion, according to The Washington Post, citing data from Euromonitor International, an industry research group. Smartwater’s foray into carbonation comes amid surging sales and distribution for a number of sparkling water brands, notably National Beverage Corp.’s LaCroix. According to IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm, measured channel sales of LaCroix reached $122.5 million over a 52 week period ending on Aug. 9, up nearly 42 percent in the timeframe.