Organic green tea marketer Steaz has added a new line of cactus waters to its portfolio. Made with prickly pear cactus juice, Fair Trade Certified green tea, natural flavors and stevia, Steaz is promoting the cactus water as a healthy beverage option with natural functionality, including antioxidant, hydration, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties.
“Cactus water has such integrity to it from a nutritional profile or point of view that it’s really easy to get behind,” Steaz CEO Linda Barron told BevNET. “It’s higher in electrolytes than Gatorade, so it’s great for hydration. It’s great for inflammation, it’s great for post-workouts. It’s good at regulating blood sugar. There are so many nutritional properties to the prickly pear cactus fruit.”
Steaz co-founder Steve Kessler said that the cactus water is built for “a consumer who’s demanding more and more innovation with function to it.”
“Of course it has to taste great, but… we try to satisfy that need with ingredient profiles that help really resonate with the quality of what the consumer is demanding,” Kessler said.
The new products are available in three varieties: Original Cactus Water with Green Tea, Cactus Water with Cucumber and Green Tea, Cactus Water with Starfruit and Green Tea. Packaged in 12 oz. slim cans, the beverages will have a suggested retail price of $2.79 and debut next month at Whole Foods.
The launch of Steaz Cactus Water comes amid continued sales growth of the company’s primary line of green tea beverages. According to data provided by IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm, dollar sales of Steaz tea products in the grocery channel grew by over 30 percent in the 52-week period ending on Dec. 27, 2015. Unit sales of Steaz rose by 35.4 percent in the timeframe. By comparison, the ready-to-drink tea category as a whole grew by 9.4 percent in dollar sales and 9 percent in unit sales.
“For the past two years, we’ve been the number one sales trending organic tea [based on IRI data.] said Kessler. “What attributes to that is the uniqueness of our flavor blend, aside from the fact that we’re the only organic and fair trade certified green tea-based iced tea on the market. That’s we hang our hat on, and that’s what we’re most proud of.”
While Steaz continues to see strong demand in the grocery channel, Barron said convenience stores will be a key focus for new distribution in 2016. The company will be launching its flagship green teas in two major convenience store chains in the coming months.
“It’s been a missing gap in our portfolio,” Barron said. “C-stores are strategically important because it’s where you’re going to find consumer trial.”