Liquid water enhancers have become increasingly popular as a way to customize water flavor without adding calories or sugar. These products offer consumers a high level of product control because they are able to choose not only the desired product flavor, but also the strength of flavor by adding the preferred number of drops to each serving.
We decided to INvestigate the trend with a brand test featuring four berry-flavored liquid water enhancers: MiO, Propel, Aqaufina Flavorsplash, and Essential Everyday.
Overview of the products:
MiO – $4.19 (Kraft Foods Global, Inc): MiO focuses on the customizable aspect of the product with the slogan “Your Drink, Your Way”, and highlights that you can have flavor any way you want it.
Propel- $3.99 (The Gatorade Co.): Propel positions itself as “The Workout Water”, with added vitamins B3, B5, and B6.
Flavorsplash- $3.59 (Aquafina): Aquafina brand uses the liquid water enhancer as an extension of the Aquafina Flavorsplash flavored bottled water line. The brand highlights simplicity and the health benefits of the calorie free, sugar free, and low sodium product.
Essential Everyday- $2.99 (Supervalu Inc.): Essential Everyday emphasizes the low product cost, with the added benefits of caffeine (for energy) and vitamins B3, B6, and B12.
A blind taste-test showed that the overall brand favorite was Aquafina Flavorsplash! Testers ranked this product first in both visual appeal and taste. We appreciated the light pink color of the enhanced water as well as the mild berry flavor, which was less sweet than the competing brands. We also liked the clean look of the red and pink product package, however, we felt that drop-shaped, easy-to-read MiO packaging might better represent this type of product and its uses.
The least preferred product was Propel due to the blue color and limited flavor created by the enhancer. Testers felt similarly about the Essential Everyday product, noting the purple color and highly sweet taste.
Whatever brand you choose, it is clear that there is a large and growing market for this customizable product- especially among health-conscious consumers and individuals looking for a flavorful way to drink more water on-the-go!