New water and juices offer afternoon pick-me-up

Caffeine is in vogue in the beverage category as a stimulant people know and understand – far different to artificial ingredients such as taurine in energy drinks or the demonized sugar in soda. 

The growth of the RTD coffee category illustrates the rise of the mid-afternoon pick-me-up occasion – as does Coca-Cola’s launch of Coca-Cola with Coffee in the US this year – but brands such as Ocean Spray, Nestlé and PepsiCo are eying up the opportunity to bring more refreshing, cleaner caffeinated beverage profiles to market with their recent launches.

Ocean Spray – ‘lightly caffeinated’

Wave is Ocean Spray’s first foray into the caffeinated water category: offering a caffeinated sparkling water with real fruit juice. It seeks to address ‘the rising demand for great tasting, lightly caffeinated sparkling beverages that keep people moving through their day’.

One drink contains 50mg of caffeine sourced naturally from black tea. This equates roughly to the amount of a caffeine in a cup of tea – or half that of a cup of coffee – and far below that of an energy drink which can contain up to 250mg per serve.

“We’re seeing consumers seek out healthier options than always grabbing for a can of soda or sugary iced coffee,” ​Kim McAllister, Director of Innovation at Ocean Spray, told this publication. 

“That is a very large market and while we don’t expect everyone to change their habits overnight, we wanted to create a lightly caffeinated option that helps fulfill the same need – but just do it healthier.

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