Ten years after Dasani debacle, Coca-Cola to bring UK “smartwater”

Harriet Green
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Remember Dasani, Coca-Cola’s move into the bottled water market that saw it sell purified tap water from Sidcup at the then-premium price of 95p a bottle?

Well, a decade after that rather embarrassing episode, and the drinks giant is taking another punt here, expected to launch a new product called “glaceau smartwater”.

According to The Times, the company will spend £3m on the UK launch this August.

Our bottled water market is worth £1.4bn. Coca-Cola’s general manager, Jon Woods, told The Times that it’s learnt its lesson from the Dasani flop. He said glaceau smartwater will be a premium product, but it’ll be sold “without the permium price”, consisting of natural spring water.

The recommended retail price for a 600ml bottle would be 57p - the same amount charged by rivals for 500ml. 850ml would go for 89p - the price of rivals’ 750ml bottles.

“What we’re doing is fundamentally different”, Woods told reporters.

Although glaceau smartwater will use the company’s Abbey Well water, it’ll go through a vapour distillation process, before having electrolytes added. “The process mimics what happens with clouds. This gives it a crisp, clean taste that is different to current brands,” Woods said.

Glaceau vitaminwater, a range of fruit flavoured drinks, are already sold here. Coca-Cola has 106 water brands to its name.

Citing sources from the industry, The Times says the company could be considering using Jennifer Aniston to promote the launch. The actress is already the face of smartwater in the US.

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