Coca-Cola hops on 'functional' drinks trend with Aquarius launch

Aquarius: available in two variants
Aquarius: available in two variants

Drink comes in lemon and lime flavours, containing zinc and magnesium respectively.

Following the announcement of Coca-Cola Energy, Coca-Cola has announced the launch of Aquarius, described as "a low-calorie range of water-based functional drinks containing essential minerals to help people perform at their best while staying hydrated".

Aquarius contains sucrose and fructose, at 3.3g per 100ml – below the limit for the sugar tax. The drink, which is available in a 400ml bottle, has added mineral salts, but does not contain artificial sweeteners or flavourings.

There are two variants: lemon, which contains zinc, and lime, containing magnesium. Coca-Cola said zinc contributes to normal cognitive function, while magnesium helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue.

The launch will be supported by digital out-of-home advertising, in-store displays and sampling, beginning in May.

It comes amid the growing popularity of drinks that are intended to offer a functional benefit but are not highly caffeinated or sugary like many energy drinks. In 2017, Lucozade launched Lucozade Sport Fitwater, a water with added electrolytes but no sugar, sweeteners or flavourings. Coca-Cola’s own Glacéau Smartwater, which launched in the UK in 2014, has a similar proposition, although it contains fewer electrolytes.

Tenzing, meanwhile, created by Red Bull's former European marketing director Huib van Bockel, is an energy drink containing only natural ingredients, inspired by a salty tea drunk in Nepal. Like Aquarius, it is sweetened with a relatively small amount of sugar.

Jon Woods, general manager at Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland, said: "We are continually looking for ways to expand our portfolio and give people a wider choice of drinks to suit different tastes, lifestyles and occasions.

"Aquarius provides a new great-tasting option for everyday moments when you are looking for a revitalising way to hydrate, with added minerals, and will play an important role in our ambition to continue to offer consumers more choice."

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