A positive future for plant waters?
With sugar content increasingly under inspection plant waters have perfectly planted themselves in a niche. However, do the beneficial qualities of these natural products have a positive future given their premium price?
Consumers are always looking for a new health fad as it is now something at the forefront of most drink buying decisions. After the success of coconut water the variety of plant water products has expanded. These drinks, squeezed from leaves or tapped from tree trunks, are packed with nutrients and electrolytes key for hydration.
Birch, cactus and maple waters are the most notable with other varieties such as a watermelon, artichoke and black water starting to give chase. All have little to no extra ingredients added whilst also bringing separate beneficial qualities. Whilst still niche this premium priced category is beginning to gain more shelf space in the major retailers.
The category currently has a limited number of products leaving space for others. The production period contributes to this as maple water can only be bottled at the beginning of spring for around five to six weeks. This can only generate so much and if done wrong can ruin the tree.
The target consumers are those on a health binge, who have a high disposable income. Plant waters however are also reaching other consumer segments. They are finding favour with consumers who are tired of the unflavoured natural spring water but are also not fond of the perceived artificial content of flavoured waters.
Plant waters are even trying to sell themselves as a recovery beverage; prickly pear has been found to have a certain antioxidant that prevents hang over symptoms such as nausea and a dry mouth.
All things considered plant waters have a bright future ahead, with many more potential possibilities. The only thing to consider is that if this category blossoms, will nature be able to keep up with demand?