With the coming of the pandemic, people were left without clubs and bars to relax and enjoy mixed drinks and cocktails. Also, being stuck in the house put a damper on workout routines and added to expanding waistlines. In those difficult times, where was the health conscious, social butterfly to do? Some turned to mixology and began making their own cocktails, but that had drawbacks of its own. Instead, to get their fill of exotic tastes, fun, and health, many turned to the non-alcoholic seltzer water market.
These seltzers provided delightful carbonation, wide ranging flavors, and best of all little to no calories. Plus, added with a slice of fruit or in a fun glass, they helped take the place of cocktails and dovetailed with the mocktail market.
In the early days, Seltzer water was plain and bitter, carbonated water with no real flavor only fit to mix with other drinks or maybe help get stains out of carpets. A steady, but small chunk of the market. Then we saw a few brands take steps out of the shadows and start to add flavorings, making sparkling water a drink in its own right.
"The seltzer water market experienced a slight bump, but still struggled to break through. Then the world went upside down and non alcoholic (as well as alcohol infused) seltzer waters stepped into the limelight."
Originally, most flavored seltzers stuck to the tried and true, lemon and lime. It made sense, most mixed drinks that included seltzers added slices of lemon or lime to make it more palatable. Why not skip that step and add the citrus right in? The people liked it, but it still remained niche. Then came the addition of grapefruit and strawberry and grape, normal fruit flavors, tasty, but familiar. When the explosion really hit, Tropical flavors rode the wave and continued to lead the way into the future.
Food Business News speaking with the CEO of Talking Rain Beverage in 2022 reported that:
between 2016 and 2020
The market has been primarily motivated by drinkers looking for fun flavors, but wanting a drink that is low calorie and low sugar. Many drinkers have come to the seltzer market as an alternative to sugary sodas and what a health conscious alternative. Flavored sparkling water fits that bill perfectly and with such a range of flavors even the most adventurous consumers will find something to love and a continued range to explore. Tropical fruit flavors are making a big splash at the moment and for the next couple of years they are expected to dominate.
Research has shown that people are familiar with Pineapple, Mango, Guava, and even dragon fruit flavors and like them, and if those yet to try are open to trying them. Tropical fruits scream summer time to most palates and even help remind many consumers of happy childhood summer memories, adding to their appeal.
In addition, some of the more exotic tropical fruits serve to inspire curiosity and a sense of gourmet tastebud travel. Tropical fruit flavored seltzers are having their time in the sun and look poised to stay for the foreseeable future. The market has turned to favoring bright simple flavors and beverages that provide taste without the calories. What was once only the territory of the health obsessed, now is the daily go to drink for busy moms on the go and young professionals looking to unwind without any guilt. Tropical fruit flavors provide that little bit of adventure while still giving comfort to the consumer, throw on top of that the lack of sugar and calories, and sparkling water is the perfect drink for a growing segment of the beverage market.
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