Soda wars move to flavoured sparkling waters

he soda wars appear to be shifting to another corner of the beverage industry — sparkling, flavoured waters. A report released Monday shows U.S. soda sales fell at an accelerated pace last year, extending a streak of declines that began in 2005. But people are apparently developing a taste for another type of sweet, carbonated beverage.

NEW YORK — The soda wars appear to be shifting to another corner of the beverage industry — sparkling, flavoured waters.

A report released Monday shows U.S. soda sales fell at an accelerated pace last year, extending a streak of declines that began in 2005. But people are apparently developing a taste for another type of sweet, carbonated beverage.

Last year, a small brand called Sparkling Ice saw sales more than double to $302.4 million from the previous year, according to IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm. While still a tiny fraction of the broader soda industry, it represents striking growth from 2009, when sales were just $2.7 million. And it’s just one of the factors chipping away at the dominance of traditional sodas like Coke and Pepsi, particularly in the diet category.

Sparkling Ice drinks, which are labeled as “Naturally Flavoured Sparkling Mountain Spring Water,” come in a variety of fruity flavours and are made with the artificial sweetener sucralose, better known by the brand name Splenda.

Its success hasn’t escaped the attention of Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc.

Coca-Cola introduced a line called Fruitwater last year that bears many resemblances to Sparkling Ice, including packaging in tall, clear bottles. A few months later, PepsiCo followed suit with Aquafina FlavorSplash, which also comes in a variety of fruity flavours.

The success of Sparkling Ice, which has zero calories, may also be among the reasons diet sodas are suffering steeper declines than their full-calorie counterparts. Last year, Diet Coke’s sales volume declined 6.8 per cent and Diet Pepsi’s declined 6.9 per cent, according to Beverage Digest. Industry executives have blamed the declines on people’s worries over artificial sweeteners. But Sparkling Ice is made with artificial sweeteners, as are Coca-Cola’s Fruitwater and PepsiCo’s FlavorSplash.

Exactly what differentiates the carbonated, flavoured waters from soda isn’t clear.

Theresa Eisenman, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said the agency doesn’t have a “standard of identity” for what defines a soda or a cola.

Just Posted

Lacombe County residential development and golf course proposed

Lincoln Ranch would include 100 homes and nine-hole golf course

UPDATED: Shots fired in Riverside Meadows

Red Deer RCMP search for more suspects

Exploring eating disorders in sports and fitness

Eating Disorders Awareness Week runs Feb. 1 to 7

Driver in fatal crash acquitted

A 19-year-old Red Deer woman was killed and another injured in June 2012 crash west of Bowden

Royal close shave: Prince William opts for dramatic buzz cut

LONDON — The hair on the heir is no longer quite so… Continue reading

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates in Red Deer

Three people vying to be the leader of the Alberta Party were… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month