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Healthy Beverage Trend Sparks Growth, Fuels Potential in All Channels

NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage: As consumers continue to insist on more healthy options in choices in their lives, the global health drinks market is projected to see consistent, continued growth, with a CAGR of 7.88% during the next five years. That growth will come from all sectors, including convenience store sales, e-commerce orders and the hospitality sector, which is recovering from COVID-19 slowdowns. Bottled water continues to be America’s favorite drink, outselling soda for the first time in 2016 and continuing that feat every year since. Leading the healthy beverage charge are companies, such as The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (NASDAQ: WTER) (CSE: WTER) (Profile), that are eager to innovate as they meet consumers calls for both taste and quality. In the most recent of a string of innovations that have earned WTER the title of largest independent alkaline company in the country, The Alkaline Water Company launched a brand new line of six natural functional waters. Earlier this year, Shaquille O’Neal, NBA Hall of Famer and Papa John’s International (NASDAQ: PZZA) board member, endorsed the company and was named an advisory board member. Other companies looking to innovate and grow in the space include Celsius Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CELH), Nestle SA ADR (OTC: NSRGY) and Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. (NASDAQ: KDP).

  • Key to WTER’s success both online, in person is its impressive range of product options
  • WTER 1-liter, 700ml bottles of Alkaline88(R) available in more than 100 retail locations in nine major U.S. airports
  • Company signs agreement with turnkey e-commerce agency specializing in management of Amazon, Walmart.com and other major retailers’ digital marketplaces
  • The Alkaline Water Company continues to see stellar growth in c-store space, with sales up 228% this fiscal year alone

Consumers Shopping Online, in Person

The health drinks market is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, according to a 2021 Mordor Intelligence report, as “consumers are heeding the proliferation of linking food and beverage consumption with health. Owing to this factor consumers are now increasingly shifting toward maintaining a healthy lifestyle that aids in sustaining fitness while reducing the chances of lifestyle diseases.”

In addition to water, “consumers are increasingly seeking for functional and nutritional food and beverage products that they believe might aid in the body’s defenses and immunity, thereby increasing the consumption of healthy drinks,” the report continued. Consumers are finding those beverage options both online and in brick-and-mortar establishments such as convenience stores and hospitality locations, both sectors where The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (NASDAQ: WTER) (CSE: WTER) is seeing noteworthy success and growth as it expands into high-potential channels and categories.

Key to WTER’s success both online and in person is its impressive range of product options, including its most recent offering of natural functional waters powered by Vessl(R). Sold under the company’s A88 Infused Products Division Inc. subsidiary, the new line represents a strong move into functional beverages for the Alkaline Water Company. Functional drinks are nonalcoholic drinks containing nontraditional ingredients such as minerals, vitamins, amino acids, dietary fibers, probiotics, etc., and the market for functional beverages represents the largest and fastest-growing segment of the functional foods sector.

Major Airports to Carry Alkaline88

The Alkaline Water Company has released a spate of milestone announcements this past year, solidifying the company’s presence as a leader in the beverage and alkaline water sectors. Earlier this month, the company announced that its 1-liter and 700ml bottles of Alkaline88 would be available in more than 100 retail locations in nine major U.S. airports, including JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, Chicago O’Hare, Reagan National, Orlando International, George Bush Intercontinental/Houston, Minneapolis-St. Paul International, and Philadelphia International. The company also named a director of hospitality and foodservice, who will focus on WTER’s future growth in this market.

“With the rebounding of the airline industry, this was an ideal time for Alkaline88(R) to enter into this channel,” said The Alkaline Water Company CEO and president Ricky Wright. “The sales team and our new director of hospitality and foodservice, Gary Bliss, have done an amazing job securing this deal. Now, hundreds of millions of passengers will have access to Deliciously Smooth(TM) Alkaline88(R) as they travel through major airports to destinations around the world. Featured in over 100 retail locations, our brand will be accessible to every passenger that enters these terminals.”

WTER’s flagship product, Alkaline88 has gained a well-earned reputation for its superior hydration with a perfect 8.8pH balance. The brand, which was developed to encourage consumers to drink more and fully hydrate, features ingredients that are simple, easy to understand and free of buffers. In fact, Alkaline88 ionized water contains just two ingredients: purified water and Pink Himalayan rock salt.

E-Commerce Channel Shows Significant Promise

The Alkaline Water company is also seeing unprecedented growth online, announcing this month an agreement with a turnkey e-commerce agency that specializes in the management of Amazon, Walmart.com and other major retailers’ digital marketplaces. The company has also named a new executive to focus on growth in this channel. Chris Pitman, who most recently served as director of e-commerce and digital merchandising with Essentia where he helped grow the brand’s overall e-commerce channel sales performance by more than 160% over a three-year period, will leverage the full-service capabilities of the company’s new e-commerce agency.

“We are making a stronger push than ever before into the e-commerce channel,” Wright stated. “As consumers continue to embrace digital shopping for groceries, e-commerce is a channel with significant upside potential for Alkaline88. We’ve continuously expanded our presence in the traditional grocery channel, and we will keep doing so, but the events of 2020 and 2021 have shown us definitively that online beverage buying habits are here to stay. eMarketer found that food and beverage was by far the fastest-growing e-commerce category in the US in 2020 and forecasts 151.5 million US digital grocery buyers by 2024 vs. 92.3 million in 2019.”

C-Store Sales More than Double

Finally, WTER continues to see stellar growth in the c-store space, with sales up 228% this fiscal year alone. Company leaders pointed to new strategic direct-to-store delivery providers and a growing number of placements in distribution centers as key to this growth.

“Our c-store channel sales are beginning to grow significantly. Last month alone, we grew by almost 300% in c-store sales, making it by far our most successful month in the company’s history,” reported Wright. “The Alkaline88 footprint continues to expand with each new distribution center added to our nationwide network. Recent additions to our network of distributors include Nassau Candy, Cooper Booth Wholesale, Hensley Beverage Company, Nevada Beverage Company and National Convenience Distributors. Combined with our legacy partners, our network’s access now gives us the potential to service approximately 50,000 of the 150,000 convenience stores across the country.

“Between our traditional channels and c-stores, our single-serves are now available to more customers than ever before,” he continued. “Many of our single-serve SKUs, including our aluminum bottle and many of our flavored-infused waters, are on pace to significantly outperform their sales from last year. The c-store channel is a leader in bottled water sales with over $4.5 billion in sales last year, according to Convenience Store News. While we continue to see significant growth in our traditional channels, we anticipate that the convenience channel will meaningfully contribute to our fiscal year 2022 sales revenues.”

In addition, the company announced that it is also focusing on specific initiatives including big box and club channels. WTER has collaborated with newly announced brand ambassador O’Neal to develop the Shaq Paq, a six-pack of two-liter bottles of Alkaline88 to target these locations, as well as other major retailers.

“Fiscal 2022 is shaping up to be a watershed year for The Alkaline Water Company,” Wright stated. “All the hard work and execution over the last eight years is coming to fruition, and I believe that Alkaline88(R) will be a household name this fiscal year.”

Innovation, Operation Key to Success

In a world where consumers are clamoring for new and different beverage options — and they are looking for those options in a wide range of channels — the ability to both innovate and operate in diverse ways becomes tantamount to success.

Celsius Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CELH), a lifestyle fitness drink and a pioneer in the rapidly growing performance energy sector, has five beverage lines that each offer proprietary, functional, healthy-energy formulas clinically-proven to offer significant health benefits to its users. The company just launched its newest flavor — Tropic Vibe, a refreshing combination of starfruit and pineapple. The new offering was initially launched with 7-Eleven in the convenience channel, securing placement in more than 5,000 locations and is now rolling out to numerous other retailers across the country. Following the successful launch of Peach Vibe last Summer, Tropical Vibe joins the Special Edition

Nestle SA ADR (OTC: NSRGY) is growing through acquisition. Earlier this year, the company announced that it had acquired Essentia Water, a premium functional water brand recognized for pioneering ionized alkaline water more than two decades ago. This transaction is part of Nestlé’s continued transformation of its global water business, which was announced in June 2020. The company is sharpening its portfolio to focus on international premium and mineral water brands and healthy hydration products, such as functional water.

Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. (NASDAQ: KDP) is showing its innovation chops with the release of its FANtastic Chocolate offering. The new combination of Dr Pepper and chocolate is an extra-sweet treat that is available for limited time only while supplies last, the company stated. “Dr Pepper FANtastic Chocolate is a celebration of fandom and marks the introduction of the new Dr Pepper Pepper Perks rewards program,” the company noted. To access the limited-time beverage, consumers must scan the proof of purchase QR code on Dr Pepper purchases until they earn a qualifying amount of points and can redeem their purchase to receive the exclusive new flavor.

Papa John’s International (NASDAQ: PZZA) is committed to providing its consumers with options, both carbonated beverages as well as a variety of other choices. The company has partnered with both Pepsi and Coke to serve Aquafina, LIFEWTR, Dasani, Gatorade and Montellier Sparkling Water, made by Canadian Pepsi bottler Alex Coulombe ltée, in many of its locations. Pepsi holds the U.S. contract for the pizza major player, while Coke serves most international locations.

Companies most likely to see growth and success in the steadily growing global beverage market will be those attuned to consumer needs and with the ability to reach those consumers at all levels.

For more information about The Alkaline Water Company, please visit The Alkaline Water Company.

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