By Max Rothman
AriZona Beverages has added a line of tiny bottles to go along with its foundation of big cans.
On Monday, AriZona announced that it has released a new line of water enhancers with a flippable cap and a squeezable bottle.
“Obviously this category is hot right now,” Wesley Vultaggio, AriZona’s owner and creative director, told BevNET. “With the MiOs and the other competition out there, I think there was a natural place for our brand.”
The enhancers contain 32 servings per 1.5 oz. package and come in seven familiar AriZona flavors: Lemon Tea, Mucho Mango, Fruit Punch, Peach Green Tea, Arnold Palmer Half & Half, Arnold Palmer Strawberry and Golden Bear Strawberry Lemonade. They have a suggested retail price of $2.99 to $3.99, are currently sold in Walmart and will enter Safeway stores in December. Strong sales would likely lead to a national rollout.
According to a company release, the water enhancers are made with real juice and contain no artificial flavors and colors or chemical propylene glycol.
Vultaggio said that while MiO brings new, untested flavors to the market, AriZona’s water enhancers benefit from the established success of its flavors. The company has been selling these flavors in cans for years, now they just have a different form. This could make for an easier sell to consumers.
“They have something to compare it to,” he said.
As it so often goes with a successful new category, the release and rapid success of MiO has generated a spate of followers. The Coca-Cola. Co, Inc., had already entered the category with its releases of Dasani Drops in September 2012 and Powerade Zero Drops in June. However, at the NACS show in Atlanta earlier this month, Coke took another few steps, announcing the creation of Vitaminwater and Minute Maid “Drops.” These products are both scheduled to debut in early 2014.
At the beginning of the month, PepsiCo announced the introduction of Aquafina FlavorSplash water enhancers. This release represents PepsiCo’s first foray into the category. Similar to the brand’s flavored, carbonated water products, the enhancers aim to draw 13-to-19-year-old consumers with flavor names such as So Strawberry, World Peach and Berry On.
In September, Nestle Waters North America also released its own line of water enhancers in three flavors: Iced Tea with Lemon, Iced Tea with Peach and Half & Half Iced Tea. In February, Kraft followed the success of MiO, its own brand, by releasing Crystal Light Liquid, a water enhancer targeted toward women.
Now, AriZona joins the party.