vitaminwater10 to be repositioned as vitaminwater zero

Over the past few days, Coca-Cola has been in the news alot with numerous announcements.  First with the global introduction of its PlantBottle, followed with its dispute with Costco, to their World of Coca-Cola speech of their 2020 plans.  One point that was not lost of most people was the repositioning of vitaminwater10 to vitaminwater zero.

Currently, vitaminwater10 has 10 calories or less, but Coca-Cola claims it will be able to reduce calories completely out of this drink.  In addition, the flavors will be transitioned to vitaminwater zero flavors.  However, there were originally 8 flavors of vitaminwater10, so one flavor is being discontinued as a result of this repositioning – energy.  Is this flavor not performing well compared to the others?  Why discontinue one of the original flavors and stick with 4 of the newer, funky-name flavors?

This repositioning comes on the heels of a very impressive and successful launch for the vitaminwater10.  Does this take away all the brand equity built into vitaminwater10, because alot of marketing dollars will be wasted as a result of this shift?  What will be the consumer impact of this?  Consumers may likely believe that zero calories is better than 10 calories, but the taste may be severely compromised.  A lot of consumers have said that the xxx and essential flavors of vitaminwater10 do not taste as good as the full calorie offerings, and also have shifted back to the the full calorie beverages.  We will have to wait to see what happens following the rollout next year.

In other news, vitaminwater will receive a package lift with metallic labels and nutritional value on the labels.  BevWire believes this repackaging has benefits as well as shortcomings.  First the positive – indicating the nutritional value shows consumers the healthy content they are taking in with each bottle.  Not that the previous bottles did not show the nutritional value, but it was not as obvious.  However, the repacking to shiny, metallic also kind of indicates that vitaminwater is selling out, or going celebrity.  The original packaging was bland, but it worked.  Not only that, but it showed that the important thing was the beverage itself, not the packaging.  Now that the drinks are selling, they will repackage it to make it more…chic and flashy?  BevWire just doesn’t agree with this…

However, BevWire did mention that vitaminwater is over-proliferated, so maybe this will indirectly help them shrink back down and pick out which flavors sell the best.  Only time will tell….

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Coca-Cola to unveil 400ml plastic bottle

BevWire was recently speaking with a source that revealed to BevWire that Coca-Cola will be releasing a smaller plastic bottle around the 400ml size.

The price point will be lower than that of a 591ml, but the goal is to test customer feedback toward this smaller bottle.  The source quoted market research stating consumers are not interested in a 591ml size plastic bottle anymore because the single serving is too large.  Also, price points of a 591ml is approaching that of a 1L bottle, so customers should just trade up to this size given what they pay.

BevWire finds it interesting how they determined that a 400ml bottle will sell any better.  Is this a plan to switch customers to the 1L bottle?  400ml is slightly larger than a 355ml aluminum can, but will likely retail at $1.49 (halfway between a $0.99 can and a $1.89 591ml plastic bottle).  Whereas a 1L will retail anywhere from $2.09 to $2.29.  For an extra $0.80, customers will get double the volume.

No word of whether Pepsi will be following with this change, but apparently the 400ml is only a test and won’t be released nationwide or even chain wide…

PepsiCo Makes Changes to Beverage Brands

Beverage Digest has a news piece about PepsiCo making some adjustments to their beverage porfolio (article can be found here).  BevWire won’t bother repeating the entire article but will highlight the main changes:

  • Sierra Mist will be re-launched with new, healthier sweeteners
  • An AMP juice, and a new energy shot to replace the discontinued AMP energy shot
  • Sobe to be packaged in PET bottles

It seems that the natural sweetener trend has taken over PepsiCo as of late, with Aquafina Plus 10 launching and now Sierra Mist to be re-launched with a new formula.  AMP already discontinued their energy shot?  That’s not surprising news as the only success in this segment so far has been Living Essentials’ 5-Hour Energy.

The biggest change that consumers care about will be Sobe’s re-packaging in PET bottles.  Glass bottles have always conveyed a sense of healthiness along with being associated with classic and premium.  Certain beverages have seen at least a small decline in sales and market share after the switch to PET bottles (Fuze, Minute Maid juices, etc).   So why would Sobe want to switch to PET bottles?  For one, the packaging costs will be lower.  Another reason?  PET bottles are traditionally more durable and have less breakage than glass bottles so there will be cost savings there. If someone runs a taste test of the glass and PET bottles versions of Sobe to see what difference there is, please post a comment to inform the reading public here.