Coca-Cola expands Smartwater line in Canada

The bubbly launch takes on an opportunity in a growing adjacent category.

Coca-Cola Canada has added Smartwater Sparkling into its portfolio in Canada, hoping to capitalize on a growing category.

Smartwater Sparkling was previously available in the U.S. and U.K. and has now come to large grocery retailers, convenience stores and select restaurants across the country.

Launching the sparkling water allows the brand to expand into an adjacent category that has been growing for the last five years, says Sarah Bishop, brand manager at Coca-Cola Canada. Sparkling grew 11% last year alone, according to the brand.

Bishop points to changing consumer trends towards health and wellness-centric products as the catalyst for this growth. The Smartwater brand itself launched in Canada in 2010 and is now the second largest and fastest growing premium water brand here, Bishop says. Last year, it experienced 49% growth.

Like the classic flat water product, Smartwater Sparkling is positioned as having a distinctive crisp taste, which the brand says comes from its vapour distillation process and added minerals. Marketing efforts supporting the new brand will kick off in April, including in-store support and sampling, OOH in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal and digital and social.

Like Smartwater’s core product, the new offering is targeted at millennials, though it skews slightly older to the 26 to 34 demographic, she says (both have a fairly even split between male and female customers), Bishop says.

The Smartwater Sparkling launch comes shortly after Coca-Cola’s launch of Gold Peak iced tea in Canada. Alongside Smartwater, Coca-Cola’s water portfolio includes Vitaminwater, Dasani and Dasani Sparkling (which are flavoured drinks, as opposed to the plain Smartwater Sparkling).

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Smartwater’s position in the premium water category.