Review: Zevia Sparkling Water is a Logical and Timely Line Extension
Covers Products: Blackberry, Cucumber Lemon, Lime, Mandarine Orange
Over the past couple of years, Zevia has made a lot of headway developing into a formidable upstart player in the diet carbonated soft drink (CSD) category. This is due in part to their use of a natural sweetener, stevia, which has offered some differentiation from the large brands that dominate the category.
While Zevia has been innovating in the CSD category, there’s another category that has been exploding: flavored sparkling water. In a lot of ways, the value proposition of these products, which generally hinges on natural flavors and zero calories, isn’t all that different from what Zevia is offering.
That being said, Zevia’s move into the flavored sparkling water category seems like a good extension. The brand already has both credibility as a zero calorie natural player and awareness since they’ve been on the market for a while.
As their point of differentiation, they’ve added a little bit of stevia. While this definitely helps keep continuity with their other products, it stretches the definition of what a sparkling water actually is. However, in the execution of these products, they have clearly been very thoughtful in terms of how they might avoid blurring the lines. Specifically, the flavor profiles of the four flavors that we sampled, Lime, Mandarin Orange, Cucumber Lemon, and Blackberry, are quite similar to what you’d find in a flavored sparkling water brand. The sweetness is quite mild and serves to provide a little extra depth to the flavor. While all four flavors taste nice, we were admittedly most partial to two of the flavors: Mandarin Orange and Cucumber Lemon.
For the packaging, Zevia has served this line up in a 12 oz. can, which is a format that’s familiar to both their brand and the flavored sparkling water category. Much like the way that they’ve mellowed out the flavor from their flagship soda line, they’ve approached the design of this product with a softer look. It’s easy to read and intuitive looking, while also helping the senses prepare for what’s inside the can.Overall, we think there might be some resistance to the addition of sweeteners (it will certainly be harder to drink this all day like an unsweetened sparkling water). However, the execution and the way that they’ve approached the category seems like a very on-brand and timely move for Zevia.