14 Carbonated Beverages That Surprised Us at the NACS Show

Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News

CHICAGO -- It’s no secret that consumers are looking for alternatives to drinking carbonated soft drinks (CSDs). And manufacturers are trying to meet the need by rolling out sparkling alternatives to please the CSD drinker’s palate.

While sparkling waters such as La Croix, Sparkling Ice and Nestle Waters' sparkling versions of its regional waters have the leg up today, other waters, iced teas, coconut water and more are making their own plays to lure consumers.

Here are 10 drinks from the 2017 NACS Show floor that are battling for CSDs’ cooler-shelf space, as well as some traditional CSDs that are fighting back …

1. Avitae

Avitae launched a few years ago as a still caffeinated bottled water. It’s now available in a sparkling version in five flavors: Mandarin Passion Fruit, Berry Kiwi, Raspberry Lime, Black Cherry and Unflavored.

2. Belvoir

After years in glass bottles in the natural-grocery and restaurant markets, Belvoir Gently Bubbling waters will graduate to c-stores with a line extension in 12-ounce slim cans. The launch in cans will initially include three flavors: Raspberry Lemonade, Elderflower Presse, and Coconut Water and Lime Presse.

3. Campbell's

Campbell's has partnered with Disney for its launch of Star Wars Space Punch. The “sparkling vitamin drinks” feature a single blended flavor of blackberry, blueberry, carrot, grapefruit, orange, pear and raspberry juices. The drink will come in 20 different collectible cans, featuring the likenesses of Star Wars characters, including Chewbacca, Han Solo, Darth Vader and more.

Campbell's also is relaunching its V8 Energy Sparkling drinks in new packaging. The drinks are available in 12-ounce slim-line cans in four flavors: White Grape Raspberry, Kiwi Melon, Orange Pineapple and Blackberry Cranberry.

4. Cascade Ice

Unique Beverage Co. now offers its Cascade Ice Sparkling Waters in eight-packs of 12-ounce cans.

5. Coco Libre

New Age Beverages has added bubbles to a line extension of its Coco Libre coconut water. Coco Libre Sparkling is available in 11-ounce cans in six flavors: Coconut Lime, Coastal Coconut, Passion Mangosteen, Peach Pear, Coconut Watermelon and Melon Grapefruit.

6. Nestle Waters

Nestle Waters North America has redesigned the packaging for the sparkling versions of its regional bottled waters. The 20-ounce PET bottles feature colorful labels featuring fruit images. The sparkling waters also will now come in colorful 12-ounce cans packaged in eight-packs. The new packages will be available in February 2018.

7. Polar

Polar’s new SeltzerAdes combine sparkling water and light juices to bring a new twist to the bottled-water category. In this case, the new products are available in 12-packs of 12-ounce cans. Meanwhile, unique limited-time flavors of Polar’s children’s line of 8-ounce cans of sparkling waters includes two unique new editions: Yeti Mischief and Dragons Whispers.

8. Talking Rain

Talking Rain is spreading its wings in terms of flavors and how to use them. Its Sparkling Ice line of bottled waters introduced a ginger lime flavor, and the company encouraged using it in mixology in its booth.

9. Top Pop

Top Pop is expanding its 99-cent line of carbonated soft drinks into the sparkling-water category. The 24-ounce PET bottles include Original Seltzer, Original Sparkling Water, Raspberry + Grape, Watermelon + Cucumber, Orange + Mango and more flavors.

10. Zest Tea

Zest Tea is a sparkling iced tea enhanced with 150 mgs of caffeine. The drink comes in 12-ounce slim cans in three flavors: Pomito Lime, Masala Chai and Citrus Hibiscus.

Traditional CSDs

Finally, here are some traditional CSDs that stood out on the show floor:

Canada Dry

Dr Pepper Snapple Group will introduce a line extension of its Canada Dry Ginger Ale. Ginger Ale and Lemonade will launch in 2-liter and 12-pack bottles and regionally in 20-ounce bottles in January 2018.

Coca-Cola and Fanta

Coca-Cola Co. will launch Coca-Cola Georgia Peach and Coca-Cola Raspberry in March 2018. And Fanta Green Apple will come to shelves in February.

Pepsi and Mountain Dew

PepsiCo will launch Pepsi Vanilla and Pepsi Cherry made with real sugar, as well as Mountain Dew Ice, a lemon-lime-flavored carbonated soft drink, in 2018. Also coming in January: Mtn Dew Kickstart in the "original flavor of Dew."