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Interesting microdrink concept from Austria

News of this product popped up on reading that the Austria-based drink company, Waterdrop, is making a debut in the US. The company sells “microdrinks” — hydrating compact sugar-free cubes that dissolve in water.

A Waterdrop is a 5-g cube of compressed powder that adds natural aromas, vitamins, and superfood extracts to a plain glass of water. It also offers a choice of bottles and vessels.

The Microdrink cubes come in several flavours, among them: Boost (blackcurrant, elderflower and açai), Youth (peach, ginger, ginseng and aloe), Glow (mango, cactus fruit and artichoke) and Zen (starfruit, thyme and lemongrass).

It claims these comprise the best and healthiest ingredients from around the world, and its packaging is equally good, with aesthetics, ease of use, and sustainability at the centre of its design.

The company’s goal is helping consumers increase their water consumption while reducing single-use plastic bottles.

Its founder was motivated “to find a drink that wasn’t full of sugar and filled in an unnecessary plastic bottle. So the idea was born to create a flexible and healthy drink that fits in every pocket, is sugar-free, and can be dropped into water, anytime, anywhere.”

Launched in 2017, Waterdrop claims a growth rate of 400% per year with more than 200 million microdrinks sold to date.

It also reports serving one million customers throughout Europe through its 15 physical store locations and e-commerce site.

Waterdrop estimates it has saved more than 30 million plastic bottles from winding up in landfills through its microdrinks and emphasis on reusable containers. 

Now, it is looking to establish an omnichannel presence in the US market with an e-commerce site and flagship store location in Miami. 

FoodDive Insights…

Waterdrop could be a big hit among US consumers, who are showing a big appetite for functional ingredients and clean labels. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, 65% of consumers were searching for ways to achieve greater health and wellness from their diets, according to data from Kerry

The pandemic has fuelled consumers’ interest in improving their eating plans with functional foods, too.

It’s not enough for ingredients to offer additional health benefits, however. Consumers are also perusing the ingredients label with greater interest, showing a growing preference for clean label products — without artificial ingredients, including flavours and colours.

Sustainable packaging has become another top priority for consumers, particularly as they evaluate the environmental footprint of their purchasing patterns during the pandemic – consumers and food manufacturers are eager for new options. 

Beverage makers experimenting with new ideas

Bottled water remains one of Americans’ favourite beverages, but increasing scrutiny over packaging waste is causing many to take another look its sustainability impact.

Soda makers Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, both of which have bottled water brands in their portfolio, have piloted interactive water coolers that dispense custom flavour combinations into personal drinking bottles. 

PepsiCo acquired SodaStream in 2018 for consumers to create at-home carbonated water in personal containers.

Other brands targeting sustainable packaging in the water segment include JUST Water, Boxed Water is Better, Icebox Water and RETHINK Water. Each of these use some form of paper-based cartons, which are overall more sustainable, instead of plastic. 

Other manufacturers are putting water in aluminum cans and bottles, which consumers may be more likely to recycle. And Coca-Cola is rolling out plastic bottles made from 100% recycled material that will be used for both soda and water brands.