Coca-Cola is expanding its presence in the functional drinks market with the launch of new brand Aquarius in the UK as it adds to its growing portfolio.

Aquarius is a low-calorie range of flavoured drink that Coca-Cola claims contain minerals that help performance. It comes in two flavours: lemon with zinc, which it says contributes to normal cognitive function, and lime with magnesium, which helps reduce tiredness and fatigue.

The launch will be supported by an integrated marketing campaign, running from the start of May, that uses the tagline ‘Put back what life takes out’. It is targeted at “consumers leading busy and constantly varied lives” and will include a combination of digital outdoor and banner advertising, as well as in-store activations, sampling and PR.

Jon Woods, general manager of Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland, says: “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.”

Aquarius was first introduced in Japan in 1983 as a grapefruit-flavoured drink. Distribution was expanded to Spain and Portugal in 1991 and it is now available in more than 15 countries including Brazil, Chile, the Netherlands and Thailand. It is set to be the official drink of the 2020 Summer Olympics.

In the UK, the drink comes in recyclable 400ml and 900ml bottles. The packaging doesn’t include any Coca-Cola branding and comes with the tagline ‘beyond hydration’, which sits beneath the brand logo.

Wood adds: “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.”

Launching into new categories is part of Coca-Cola’s efforts to establish itself as a ‘total beverage company’. Faster innovation is key to this, with CEO James Quincey prioritising streamlining routes to market to keep the business on top of new trends.

With this in mind, Coca-Cola has been ramping up product launches in key markets. In the UK, for example, it has introduced new flavours of Diet Coke and, earlier this month, launched an own brand energy drink.

READ MORE: Coca-Cola: We must keep creating brands or online retailers will win

Javier Meza, Coca-Cola’s CMO of sparkling, told Marketing Week: “It’s a change of mindset and that’s what James is pushing us to do and I’ve seen more and more of that in Coca-Cola. For example, with the Coca-Cola brand we’ve done Coke with coffee, with ginger and we now have Coke with cinnamon coming in Europe.

“The reason we’ve been able to do that is this notion of ‘it’s OK to try new things’ and if it is not a big success that you don’t have to keep it for years. It’s OK to just learn the marketplace.”





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