Chris Brook-Carter | 19 January 2004
Within the soft drinks trade, the current mania is for functionality. And in an over-crowded market, it was only a matter of time before the functional claims moved from the obvious to the bizarre.
On Friday, we ran a story about a water brand, launched by Nestle, which claims to aid slimming. Water and slimming are, I suppose, a fairly natural fit, although whether consumers actually buy into the concept remains to be seen. That said, if there are visible results for those that do, Dr Atkins & co may have a fight on their hands.
It may be altogether easier to judge the physical results, though, of a second functional water brand to get press coverage last week. A mountainous Bosnian town is the site for the reopening of a bottling factory for a natural spring with alleged aphrodisiac qualities, with the catchy name "Muska Voda" (Men's Water). "We are sure that the Men's Water will chase Viagra out, at least from this region," said the optimistic Ahmo Gogic, co-owner of the newly-established Bosnian-German company which plans to restart bottling what was once the most profitable resource in town.
And then this morning we received an email from a company claiming it has developed a biological process for producing a consumable form of water which releases oxygen in the presence of enzymes; meaning you can drink it and it releases oxygen into your body, or apply it to the skin and it speeds up the healing process.
Can these sorts of products really develop profitable niches? It seems a little far- fetched at present even if the claims are true. However, the idea of bottled water taking off the way it has done was far-fetched a decade ago. And, I suppose, all it would take is the odd celebrity endorsement – Jennifer Aniston preaching the virtues of slimming water, or tales of Hugh Hefner passing out Man Water at his playboy parties – for these brands to turn from quack products to potential goldmines overnight.
Heavy metal legend Bruce Dickinson - lead singer of the band Iron Maiden, for the unitiated - is clearly a man not afraid to get his hands dirty. ...
The homebrewing revival continues in the UK - and evidence has come that even the supermarket chains are taking it semi-seriously. ...
Does Pernod Ricard have something to hide? In a press conference after the release of full-year results today, only a quarter of the 100 minutes were given over to questions from journalists....
Here's a round-up of the top stories on just-drinks last week, featuring Carlsberg, Heineken, Coca-Cola Amatil, California's winelands and Cognac....
- Allegro: The shape of things to come at Pernod?
- The End of the Road for International Beer Brands?
- Pernod Ricard's FY Performance by Region, Brand
- Pernod Ricard's Allegro cost-saving programme
- US craft vodka puts squeeze on Pernod's Absolut
- Pernod bemoans tough FY as sales, profits drop
- ASA bans Jägermeister TV ad
- Pernod Ricard set for CMO switch
- Scotch whisky leaders sign pro-UK letter
- Molson Coors appoints Europe CEO