Essentia® Water, innovator of a bottled functional water brand in the U.S., reported a 69 percent revenue increase in the first quarter 2013. Bucking the category trend of seasonality, January was the biggest month in the brand's 15 year history.
In 2012, Essentia outpaced the bottled water category's 6.7 percent growth by nearly eight times, according to the company. The brand has experienced nine consecutive years of growth, including a stellar 2012 where the brand’s revenue jumped 53 percent.
“Our growth this quarter was driven by velocity, not new distribution or increased levels of merchandising,” explained Ken Uptain, Essentia’s president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “What is exciting to us and our distributor and retail partners is that these are volume gains driven by consumer demand.”
Essentia’s biggest growth channel was grocery, which increased 82 percent over the first quarter 2012. The company attributes this to strong performance at the brand’s top grocery retailers Kroger, Publix and Safeway.
According to first quarter SPINS data, Essentia’s sales increased 66 percent in the natural channel, where it is currently the No. 1 selling brand. Essentia’s first quarter 2013 promotional activities were similar to 2012, yet consumer pull grew significantly at its top natural retailers, including Whole Foods Markets and Sprouts.
Uptain feels that some of the brand’s first quarter gains may be a result of a more modern packaging design launched in mid-2012. “The updated look more effectively communicates the benefits of Essentia’s proprietary process, which delivers optimum alkalinity and an ideal pH of 9.5,” said Uptain. “At retail, this creates a more immediate connection with the consumer.” Uptain noted that Essentia’s PET bottles are lightweight, resealable, shatter-resistant and recyclable, which are important to its target market.
In a move to satisfy the growing demand for its product, earlier this year at the Natural Products Expo West, Essentia launched a six-pack offerings for its 20-ounce sport top bottle and a 1.0 liter single-serve bottle. This offers greater convenience to both the brand’s retail partners and its loyal consumers.