Kraft claims to offer a personalised drinking experience with what the US giant is calling its first new category launch in 15 years.
The company's new liquid water flavouring product will be launched in the US this March.
MiO, which means “mine” in Italian, complements the desires of its 18-to-39 “Generation Next” target group, allowing them to customise their everyday experiences, claims the company.
Liza Laibe, MiO senior brand manager, told BeverageDaily.com: “MiO answers this wish to personalize life’s experiences in a way no other beverage can”.
“It’s a new brand, a new form and a new category,” she said.
An extension of drink mixes
However, Garima Goel Lal, senior beverage analyst at Mintel told this publication that at least two small companies -- Capella and Yum Drops already have a similar products.
According to the analyst, Capella has been producing the product for the last six years.
“Kraft's entry into this category only signals that it would become mainstream with the company's marketing muscle and its clout on retail shelves,” said Goel Lal.
But the analyst did say it was a new concept in terms of creating a custom flavoured bottled water.
“Primarily because it is being promoted on this platform. However, drink mixes already fulfill that need to a certain extent,” said Goel Lal.
“I would say that this is an extension of drink mixes; and there are mixes available that consumers use to flavour and sweeten their water,” said the analyst.
Positive aspects of the brand is that it is more convenient than traditional drinks mixes, she said.
“Consumers don't have to carry multiple packages or don't need to cut the packaging to mix it in the bottle—‘a mess-free product’”, said the analyst.
However, negative points are that the problems associated with drink mixes and many other diet drinks also appear to be present in MiO such as artificial colours, sweeteners, and preservatives, she said.
The analyst also said that comparing its $3.99 price with that of competitors--MiO is an expensive product.
“For example, one bottle of Capella brand flavors 75 16.9 oz bottles of water and cost around $5.95 per bottle; in comparison, MiO is good for around 24 servings,” said Goel Lal.
Opportunity in the US
Laibe claims that the new MiO product was the first-ever liquid water enhancer to be launched in the country.
“The opportunity for MiO is tremendous – in the US we consume about $10bn in bottled water and on a consumption basis, three times that much in tap water. We think MiO represents the way people will drink water in the future,” said Laibe.
The zero-calorie, sugar-free product comes in the form of a palm sized portable pod containing 1.62 fluid ounces which, according to the company can make about 24 eight-ounce servings of flavoured water.
MiO is available in six flavours: berry pomegranate, strawberry watermelon, fruit punch, mango peach, sweet tea and peach tea.