Coming soon: More Vitaminwater
February 17, 2009 Leave a comment
There is more Vitaminwater coming – Vitaminwater will be introducing Vitaminwater10. This drink promises to have the same taste, but with only 10 calories per serving. Available to the United States in March, the enhanced water beverage will be available in 4 flavors: xxx, energy, multi-v, and essential. These four flavors will be packaged in 4-pack 16oz bottles and single 20oz bottles.
Vitaminwater is currently available in 13 flavors (2 were discontinued) and 3 package formats. Although the brand is successful and popular, how many more flavors do we need? A consumer has a limited amount of money to spend, and there are enough choices as it is. The more choices there are for the consumer, the greater the possibility for cannibalization between the flavors. Maybe it is better to lose the money to cannibalization than to lose it to a competitor; at least the money is coming to the company in one way or another. The distribution channels may also feel the need to rationalize which particular flavors to carry.
How much shelf space would this brand need if a retailer was to carry all the different product varieties? Store managers undoubtedly will have to de-list the slower movers that are underperforming in favor of the top sellers. This puts enormous pressure for each product to perform in order to be an average mover in order to avoid being de-listed.
Does the consumer really need that many options for a product as simple as enhanced water? Is this just really a cash-grab? Sooner or later, the brand will become over-extended. At that point, consumers may migrate to a new drink that makes it easier for them to enjoy it without the complexities of choosing between a flavor, caloric-content, nutritional content, functional benfit, and package format.