Flavoured sparkling water products

Searching for ways to differentiate a future offering of flavoured sparkling water products.

Challenge Description

The current and growing trend in the beverage market is for low calorie, non-sweetened, fruit-flavoured beverages that are perceived as better hydration options for health-conscious consumers. The move away from traditional sodas has focused on the goodness of water and the use of natural flavours (e.g. citrus) with minimal calories, but consumers are now demanding greater tasting products and are looking for brands with a compelling reason for purchase. The client wishes to deliver the next generation of products in this category, and is therefore actively searching for truly innovative technologies to enable them to deliver game-changing products for this crowded sector. The consumer’s growing need to understand where the ingredients come from, how they were processed and what benefit can be derived from the product, enables the client to utilise new technologies in a way previously not possible. An example of this is in craft alcoholic beverages, where the source, process and founder story is often a primary reason for success.

Key Success Criteria

The client is keen to find innovative ingredients, new processing technologies and product concepts to enable a step-change in the flavoured sparkling water market, and could come from any of the elements, such as: Is there an extraction / infusion / filtration process to maximise the flavour / nutritional value / health benefit or allow use of a waste-stream source? Are there unusual or alternative natural flavours from vegetables, fruits, botanicals (from herbs, roots, spices), or alternative formats – e.g. peels, whole fruit? Can we modify the characteristics of the bubble (e.g. size, surface tension), create bubbles on demand, improve the sparkling sensation, or use an alternative carbonation process? Can the beverage or ingredients be packaged or dispensed in a novel way to the consumer (e.g. cap insert or delivery mechanism) to improve the freshness or consumer experience?

Background

Our client is a leader in the manufacture and supply of carbonated beverages in North America, searching for ways to differentiate a future offering of flavoured sparkling water products. As with other beverage categories (e.g. craft beer, coffee) the use of innovative processes to enhance the taste, nutritional profile and consumer experience are equally important as the unique founder / product story that often accompanies leading brands.

Preferred Collaboration

The client company is an established manufacturer of branded beverages, selling to a global consumer base. As a leading innovator in the food and drink market, they have both the experience and development / manufacturing resources to support and/or accelerate the introduction of any technology or product into this category, and are open to discuss the most appropriate form of collaboration. The company is interested in short-, medium- and long-term solutions for their product pipeline, and therefore is able and willing to work with a wide variety of partners (i.e. inventors, academic/industry researchers, start-ups and ingredient suppliers) to deliver innovation into a range of flavoured sparkling water products.

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