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.
Here's a round-up of the top stories on just-drinks last week, featuring PepsiCo and Coca-Cola Co, Castel, Molson Coors and the cachaca sector....
There was a big focus on supermarkets and their Scotch offerings this week when a couple of own-brand malts scooped top awards at the International Wines and Spirits Competition (IWSC)....
You can't seem to move at the moment for news of US craft brewers expanding....
Here's a round-up of the top stories on just-drinks last week, featuring Coca-Cola Life, Australian Vintage, Pernod Ricard and BrewDog....
- just The Preview - Diageo's FY preliminaries
- Analysis - SABMiller's Australian issues continue
- Focus - SABMiller's Q1 Performance by Region
- PepsiCo to consider more re-franchising - CEO
- PepsiCo find stability but Peltz concerns linger
- Diageo silent over Shuijingfang writedown report
- Diageo's Captain Morgan Facebook ad banned
- Sales, profits fall at Moet Hennessy in H1
- Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte appoints new CEO
- Molson Coors CEO to retire