Nov. 7 (UPI) — The Coca-Cola Company announced plans Thursday for the launch of its first new brand in a decade — a sparkling water line called AHA that will presumably compete with brands like rival Pepsi’s Bubly.
The company said it will offer AHA in eight flavors — lime-watermelon, strawberry-cucumber, blueberry-pomegranate, apple-ginger, black cherry-coffee, citrus-green tea, peach-honey and strawberry-cucumber.
“As the largest and fastest-growing part of the water business, mainstream flavored sparkling water is a segment we know we must double-down on,” Vice President Celina Li said in a statement. “AHA is our big-bet brand in this big-bet category.”
Coca-Cola said it tested 800 potential flavors and 50 different combinations for six months to settle on the final eight.
The AHA line will go on sale in March. It’s Coca-Cola’s first new brand since it launched Gold Peak teas in 2006.
Coca-Cola also said it will also add flavored Smartwater in 2020 with flavors like strawberry-blackberry and pineapple-kiwi.
The new line comes at a time sparkling water beverages are increasing in popularity, partly due to more health-conscious drinkers looking to cut down on sugar.
“There are unmet needs for consumers in the category today, both for those who don’t drink sparkling water regularly today and for those who do,” said Julie Siwemuke, the company’s sparkling water director.
Bubly, launched in 2018, is soon expected to become a billion-dollar brand. Pepsi also produces the similar Izze line. La Croix was the market leader in the category but sales have declined with the introduction of startup competitors like Spindrift.