Detoxwater will be included in CVS’s ‘destination hydration’ set, which aims to provide shoppers with products that do more than quench thirst.
According to Mintel’s 2019 Food and Drink trends, consumers are turning to food and beverage items that fit into their holistic and ongoing health pursuit, looking for products that address health concerns around healthy ageing, promoting digestion, and supporting the immune system.
“More food and drink formulations can be developed for people of all ages to efficiently consume vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients that are potentially beneficial for bone, joint, immune system and brain health,” Mintel stated in its 2019 trends report.
“Our proprietary formula is to not only hydrate, but is also ‘healing hydration’,” Park told FoodNavigator-USA.
‘We use clinically-proven pharmaceutical-grade aloe’
Long associated with skin health, aloe vera gel (derived from the gelatinous inner leaf of the plant containing water, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and vitamins), has become a hot food and beverage ingredient in the US.
The aloe vera gel market was an estimated $251.3m in 2018 and is projected to increase at a CAGR of 7.8% in the forecasted period (2018-2027), according to Future Market Insights.
At 30 calories per 16-ounce bottle, Detowater contains 350 mg of aloe vera and a full range of B and C vitamins, according to the company.
Unlike many other aloe juices and beverages that contain aloe pulp or pieces of aloe, Detoxwater water is pulp-free. The company uses ACTIValoe, a bioactive aloe ingredient which is dry freezed and turned into shiny sheets of aloe that are broken up and dissolved into the water, Park explained.
According to Aloecorp, the supplier of ACTIValoe, its aloe contains at least 10% of aloe polysaccharides.
“We use clinically-proven pharmaceutical-grade aloe, which has highest retention of aloe polysaccharides,” Park said.
Park noted that because the aloe is fully dissolved instead of tiny pieces of floating around, the drink has a smoother mouthfeel with a slightly higher viscosity than plain bottled water.
“It’s much cleaner than your average aloe waters or juices out there, those tend to be on the thicker side,” Park said.
When Detoxwater first launched, the main claim on its products was that it was an organic aloe water, then the brand switched to promoting its ‘bioactive’ aloe, but that just seemed to confuse consumers who weren’t familiar with the term, said Park.
“We switched to ‘prebiotic’ because we thought that was a better keyword,” Park said, adding that consumers’ familiarity with probiotics in drinks such as kombucha and kefir has led to a more nuanced understanding of digestive health and interest in prebiotics (the dietary fiber probiotics feed on in the gut).
A 2017 study covered by our sister site NutraIngredients-USA found that polysaccharides from aloe vera may boost the growth of beneficial gut bacteria such as Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus spp.
Who’s drinking aloe water?
When Detoxwater first launched the branding was skewed towards health conscious and fitness focused female consumers, according to Park. And while that demographic is consuming Detoxwater, the brand has gained traction with millennials males through its online channel and 45- to 65-year-olds in store.
Park suspects that the company’s claims around digestive health have been a primary draw for its older customers.
Moving into c-store and mass retail
Now that Detoxwater has nearly doubled is distribution footprint to 8,500 stores with its CVS partnership (it is also sold in Kroger, Hy-Vee, Wegman’s, and H.E.B.), Park said that another focus for the brand will be expanding to other channels including convenience and mass retail.
The company also recently expanded its portfolio with the launch of an 1.7-fluid ounce aloe shot called Veralixir with three times the aloe concentration of its original Detoxwater line. Currently sold online through Amazon and the company’s website, Park added, “we want to see it in places like GNC and Vitamin Shoppe starting in Q2.”