MindBullets 20 Years


Danone's EvianPlus seduces the health and energy-conscious

Marketing pundits will tell you that the water ‘gold rush’ started with Coca-Cola’s acquisition of trendy Vitaminwater in May 2007. Darius Bikoff had set New York tongues wagging with his SmartWater and Glaceau Vitaminwater since 2000 and then sold the business to Coke for US$ 4.1 billion.

Since then, ‘enriched waters’ have taken the lion’s share of new growth in the beverage sector, helped by the recent rulings against the use of sugar in drinks.

Danone has now taken their water business up a level with the success of its EvianPlus….not just added nutrients, electrolytes and vitamins but a dash of luxury smarts that has taken the Chinese and Indian markets by storm.

In-store sensors calculate just the right kind of additives for your body type, creating an infinite tailored product range. Couple this with brand new intelligent packaging, bioplastic that responds to your mood and is instantly degradeable, and you have a sure-fire winner.

Danone insists that its water is placed on the shelf with other waters to continue its proud distinction of being a “healthy water”, and not to be confused with carbonated, sugared and alcoholic beverages.

A sure sign of Danone’s success is that there are already several pirated versions of EvianPlus available in Beijing stores and on the streets.

ANALYSIS >> SYNTHESIS: How this scenario came to be

Nestle has 77 brands of water, including big sellers like Perrier, Poland Springs and San Pellegrino.

Coca-Cola has popular brands of bottled water such as Dasani (the second most popular brand in the US, but removed from the UK market).

Pepsi-Co sells the single most popular brand of bottled water in the US, Aquafina.

2006: Americans turn to water

Twenty years ago we would have scoffed at the idea, but for the first time in 2006, Americans drank more bottled water than milk. And, they drank nearly as much bottled water as beer. If the trend continues, Americans could be drinking more bottled water than tap water within a few years.

The global bottled water market approaches US$30 billion by the end of 2006.

2009: Price Wars decimate industry

Brutal price wars have all but decimated the traditional bottled water industry. Today profits have moved to the premium brands that offer lifestyle associations and specific health benefits.

Nestle’s brands are cut down to half the number in 2007.

2010: Smart Water becomes the fashionable norm

If you can think it, you can add it to water.

Suddenly the bottled water industry has been driven to ever-more spectacular inclusions – of course all the better to improve your health, brain power, lifestyle and attractiveness to the opposite sex.

The world’s largest untapped markets have now embraced water as the drink of choice, although the local additives may sometimes scare humble Western taste-buds.

2013: Water surpasses soft drinks

For the first time in history, the bottled water industry is worth more than the soft drinks industry. Spurred by increasing health pressures on sugar, the soft drinks industry has been turned on its head by active consumerism.

It is only in third-world countries that highly-sugared soft drinks are still popular.

Danone’s EvianPlus puts it very firmly at the top of the tree – as the world’s most popular premium water.

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

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