Current Event Friday #81

A water with a bubbly personality is ready to compete with others already in stores

There’s nothing new under the sun says the Teacher in the book of Ecclesiastes, or more euphemistically stated, “everything old is new again.” Hopefully for Atlanta’s favorite beverage company, their new old fad will go over better than their old new fad three decades ago. Today’s #CurrentEventFriday looks at the latest fizzy water offering to hit the market.

Image result for seltzer water

Carbonated water and carbonated drinks are nothing new, having been around since the discovery of the carbonation process in the latter third of the 18th Century. Bottling carbonated water and dispensing it became popular in the 19th Century as a way to replicate the mineral waters at famous underground springs. The popularity of soda water or Seltzer water grew even more with flavored syrups like Dr. Pemberton’s Coca-Cola and competitors like Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, Moxie, and a slew of others. Before the bottling of soft drinks, soda shops employed carbonated water or club soda dispensers and mixed the fizzy water with flavored syrups and/or ice cream.

More recently, flavored soda waters and seltzers have seen a spike in popularity again. Offering the bubbling sensation of a soft drink without the coloring agents and sugar, seemingly everyone and their brother is a fan of the new product. Thanks to the popularity of carbonated waters like La Croix, Pepsi created their own line—Bubly, and alcoholic beverage companies like Anheuser Busch have rolled out Highball as a hard seltzer and are joined by White Claw hard seltzers and others. Not wanting to miss out, the Coca-Cola Company has announced they are creating their own line of carbonated water to be named Aha. Offering unique flavors sans the sugar, but adding 30 mg of caffeine Coke is hoping to find a larger market share than their competitors. Consumers can find the Aha line of beverages in March 2020.

Corporate officials at Coke acknowledged this is one of the more significant new products the beverage company has rolled out in more than a decade. Of course, the company has expanded their major product lines and adjusted chemical compositions such as the Diet Coke retooling a few years ago, or the Stevia-sweetened coke, but the company seems eager to tout a brand-new product line. Assumedly, longtime corporate officials may be wary thanks to the debacle of New Coke of 1985. Lasting only 3 months, the reformulation of the Coca-Cola formula that resulted in a sweeter product, the new formulation was scrapped, and Coca-Cola Classic took its place. Although a few skeptics believe the company reformulated the drink to drive up sales of the classic formula.

Whether Coca-Cola’s efforts in the carbonated water game remain to be seen, no doubt the brand name behind it will affect sales one way or the other. Beverage consumers are fiercely loyal and proclaim superiority of their brand of choice spurning those who offer the rival soda. So, Bubly may have to watch out for Aha all while everyone else taking a neutral line can get buzzed while drinking White Claw.

What’s your favorite sparkling water?