What a water-full world

In the crowded and rather lucrative bottled water market, standing out on supermarket shelves takes effort and ingenuity.

Whether that effort is found in sustainable packaging, unique ingredient combinations, or innovative processing techniques, manufacturers are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to breaking into the stash of bottled water wealth.

The bottled water industry has generally sought to continue its stable growth through specialised niche markets. Due to the flexibility afforded by their size, when attempting to supply relatively small market segments with specific premium products, smaller producers are able to focus on their targets in a very precise way.

Consumer research suggests that bottled water is consumed by a great variety of people from a range of age groups and occupations. The large majority, however, tend to be young singles and couples, and in particular females aged between 14-35 years.

Generally, bottled water consumers can be described as being in the more health-conscious, contemporary and socially aware sector of the population. Appealing to this target market of consumers means tapping (literally and figuratively) into their social priorities.

Clearly a big focus for this group is the environment, and – with higher, and more readily available, disposable incomes – they have the luxury to change spending choices to reflect that.

Reducing environmental impact

A Sydney based company, targeting specifically this group of consumers, has come up with an innovative way of producing high quality drinking water from fruit. According to Karpati Water, this gives our water tables much needed relief, which, as they see it, is a great necessity in a country battling with water supplies from precious river systems and delicate springs and wells.

The method utilised in making water from fruit incorporates the process of making fruit concentrates. Typically fruit concentrates are made from steaming the fruit, with three out of four litres steamed off to make the end product.

Karpati Water is made from a pressure-chilling process which retains the high quality fruit water and makes a great tasting fruit concentrate as well. The water is produced free from fruit flavour, and is then bottled locally, once again reducing the company’s carbon footprint.

Without disturbing the water table balance, Karpati Water provides a means of using less energy to make fruit concentrate, and reduces water wastage by close to 75%.

Furthermore, water from fruit is H²O18 rather than H²O16. Water from fruit, and H²O18 generally, is scientifically proven to keep drinkers hydrated for longer, as it is retained in plants. H²O16, on the other hand, is found predominantly in tap, spring and artesian waters, and evaporates with relative ease.

Karpati Water is now being launched throughout Sydney.

Thirst-quenchingly green

Also making its mark on sustainable manufacturing, is Victorian-based Cool Change Natural Spring Water, which has launched Australia’s first spring water packaged in a bottle made from plants.

The company is seeking the all-important green credentials in an industry often criticised for its lack of sustainability.

The bottle from Cool Change Natural Spring Water is fully biodegradable. Rather than packaging the drink in PET, a polymer plastic derived from crude oil, Cool Change bottles are made using Ingeo PLA, derived from annually renewable sources – plants.

This new material is derived from plant sugars and requires less energy for production, using 67% less fossil fuels. This has the flow on effect of creating 90% less carbon emissions in producing the resin required for the bottle.

The new polymer also opens up opportunities for increased end of life options, such as commercial composting. The bottle can compost in commercial composting conditions of high heat of 55ºC+, and high humidity of 90%+).

In addition to the innovative packaging, Cool Change has taken into consideration all aspects of the business, in an effort to ensure their carbon footprint is minimised. By reducing energy usage, then offsetting any green house emissions that have been created, Cool Change is the first water in Australia to have a carbon neutral production process (certified by the Carbon Reduction Institute).

Cool Change Natural Spring Water is a privately owned business held by the Paterson family and based in Victoria’s Yarra Valley. Having been involved within the water industry since 1991, what started as the revamping of the family spring water business, has shifted towards a journey on education on consumption and waste management.

Beyond that of bottled water, the scopes for Cool Change as a wider business include being advocates for improved commercial composting infrastructure in Australia; close loop solutions for the food event and restaurant industry; as well as wider food packaging opportunities, including diversification into milk, fruits, and contract packing.

Curious picks up serotonin

Also making marks with their packaging innovations is a NZ company which has won one of the world’s most prestigious packaging design awards for a unique drink invented in Auckland.

Curious Design was awarded a gold medal in the water category at the recent Pentawards held in Monaco, for the design of a bottle wrap for the serotonic spring water Sero².

Sero² is a unique sparkling mineral water which contains the amino acid L-tryptophan that prompts the body to produce serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter linked to mood control.

Foods that are typically considered rich sources of L-tryptophan are dairy products, beef, poultry, barley, brown rice, fish, soy-beans and peanuts.

Sero² was developed in NZ and is manufactured by NZ Aquaceuticals Limited.

The Pentawards for creative excellence in brand packaging design is the first and only worldwide competition exclusively devoted to packaging design in all its forms, and is open to entries from all countries.

For company director, Nigel Kuzimski, “the challenge for Curious was to reflect the attributes of Sero² in the packaging design. This was achieved by creating a harmonious, understated image that attracts the consumer by its simplicity and integrity.”

The Sero² design process took place over several months, as manufacturing plans for the new product were finalised. The chosen design needed to embody a specially-formulated UV-wrap to protect the liquid contents from light. The bottle also needed to have universal appeal, while retaining elements of specific, targeted appeal for female consumers.

NZ Aquaceuticals is currently marketing Sero² through New World supermarkets in NZ, but has plans to take the product offshore, taking advantage of the world-wide functional drinks market, which is forecast to be worth $54 billion by 2010.

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