Tate & Lyle
Carst and Walker

US: Coca-Cola’s new Dasani Drops

Coca-Cola’s newest drink won’t come in a bottle or a can. And people will only need a squirt or two to quench their thirst. Following the lead of Kraft’s launch of Mio, the world’s largest beverage company is preparing to leverage its scale to stake a claim in the new flavour drops category and will be introducing its Dasani Drops in coming weeks. [Click to enlarge]

Dasani Drops is a zero-calorie liquid beverage enhancer that allows people to add a veritable burst of flavour to water, and will be launched in four flavours: Strawberry Kiwi, Pink Lemonade, Pineapple Coconut and Mixed Berry. Additional flavours will be introduced next year.

“Dasani Drops is the perfect solution for those who want to mix things up with a refreshing splash of flavour in their day,” says John Roddey, Vice President, Water, Tea and Coffee for Coca-Cola North America. “This gives people a new way to enjoy drinking water by pumping up the taste of Dasani with a simple squeeze of the easy-to-carry bottle.”

Coca-Cola isn’t the first to come out with flavour drops. The category was pioneered by Kraft Food’s MiO, which was introduced in March of last year and has quickly spawned copycats, including by supermarkets that sell store-brand versions.

The drops are popular because they come in small, portable containers that can be easily tucked into a purse or even back pocket. And unlike powdered drink packets, people can decide how much or little they want to squirt into their water. A small bottle can also have more than two dozen servings, meaning people save money they’d spend on bottled teas or enhanced waters.

Roddey says the plan is to make Dasani Drops available wherever its Dasani bottled water is sold, including on supermarket shelves, in checkout aisles or in the refrigerated sections in convenience stores.

“We’re looking to make this as broad as we can,” he said. Dasani Drops, which will cost about $4, will start hitting shelves in early October. Each bottle has about 32 servings.

Without mentioning Kraft’s MiO by name, Roddey says Coca-Cola saw the early success other brands had and realised the category had huge potential.

Kraft has said that MiO sales through the first half of the year have more than doubled to more than $100 million. The name means “mine” in Italian, suggesting users can make drinks however they like. For a beverage giant, however, the introduction of liquid flavour drops is more complicated.

Coca-Cola says the drops will boost consumption of water, whether it’s tap water or bottled. Ideally, of course, people would use the drops with its Dasani water, which already saw sales volume rise 13 percent in the first half of the year, according to industry tracker Beverage Digest.

Overall consumption of bottled water has also been growing, although at a much slower pace than in the early 2000s, according to Beverage Digest, which reported last week that Coca-Cola planned to introduce the drops. The drops may hurt Coca-Cola’s other units, however. The company also makes enhanced waters, such as Vitaminwater Zero.



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