Better-for-you beverage brand Water Works has launched a cactus water and watermelon water in the UK.

Both 100% natural, not from concentrate and with no sugar added, the drinks are positioned as healthier alternatives to sugary soft drinks and sports drinks. They are inspired by the rise in alternative waters with similar function and hydration benefits to coconut water, which accounted for 96% of global volume of alternative waters last year.

Ashil Vaghela, creator and co-founder of Water Works, said: “We are excited to be joining the Natural Hydration sector, which has grown to become a billion-dollar industry almost exclusively through coconut water sales.

We wanted to bring true innovation to the health drinks market and so we simultaneously launched a watermelon water and a cactus water in a bid to diversify the flourishing natural drinks category.”

Water Works started with these two, as they felt that they have the most agreeable taste profiles out of all the potential challengers to coconut water, whilst still offering notable functional benefits from the electrolytes, amino acids and antioxidants contained in these super fruits. They do plan to add to the range in the near future however.

“Having a range that extends beyond just the one ingredient is important to us as it helps create that billboard effect on shelf. It also gives us access to several markets and most importantly, helps us remain relevant should trends or tastes change. We plan to follow up with exciting NPD soon.”

The watermelon water is pure watermelon with a dash of fresh cranberry, which makes it less tarte than if combining with lemon or lime juice.

The cactus water is made using prickly pears that are sourced from Europe, London-based Water Works explained, which means they have a different taste and colour profile to those more commonly sourced in the US or Mexico.

“We knew it would be important to differentiate our products from what is currently available, so we swapped out the lemon for cranberry in our watermelon water and we really took our time to sample all kinds of cactus fruit, eventually settling on those that grow on Sicilian cacti.”

Using a gentler flash pasteurisation process, Water Works has managed to find a good balance between taste, nutrient retention and shelf life, all whilst driving down the cost of the beverage, which retails at around £2.00.

“Our longer shelf life as well as the possibility to store and transport at room temperature gives us mass market potential from a logistics and pricing perspective, compared to our chilled rivals,” explains Ashil.

“We have already secured export partners in more than ten countries thanks to our 12-month shelf life and choice of ambient packaging. The products have been very well received and we have now started to receive repeat orders. The cactus water is generating a lot of interest, as predicted. We were pleasantly surprised to see how clued up some foreign market buyers are on beverage innovation, and this has certainly given us the confidence to push on with our plans.

Our goal now is to raise our profile and secure an important retail listing in the UK. Thanks to the category building efforts that have been made by our friends over at What a Melon and True Nopal, we are confident that buyers will soon be amenable to the idea of listing us alongside our competitors, especially given the steps we have taken to differentiate our products from theirs. We want to help bring these healthy drinks into the mainstream space.”

According to food and drink consultancy Zenith Global, the market for alternative waters – including cactus water and watermelon water – is forecast to double by 2020.

Volume is expected to reach 1.9 billion litres, after growth of 21% in 2016 helped the market to value of $2.7 billion.

The drinks are packaged in convenient and environmentally friendly Tetra Paks. Each 330ml carton has a suggested retail price of £1.99.



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