AHA is adding even more fizz and flavor to its lineup of boldly refreshing sparkling waters, just over a year after debuting on U.S. store shelves. The brand will unveil two new calorie-, sodium- and sweetener-free flavors – Raspberry + Acai and Mango + Black Tea – driven by extensive research and consumer testing.
“AHA consumers are variety seekers constantly looking for new and exciting flavors,” said Natalia Suarez, brand manager, AHA. “We’ve always taken a consumer-centric approach with this brand, so we started out by exploring gaps and opportunities in our existing lineup to see how we could expand our reach. We think these new flavors taste delicious and are confident our fans will agree.”
The team started with more than 300 flavors and tested 42 pairings before optimizing the recipes for two top performers. The tropical taste of mango is complemented by a burst of black tea flavor (and 30mg of caffeine), and the refreshing taste of raspberry is brightened by notes of acai.
Like all existing AHA flavors – Lime + Watermelon, Strawberry + Cucumber, Citrus + Green Tea, Orange + Grapefruit, Blueberry + Pomegranate and Peach + Honey – the new offerings feature surprising yet accessible flavor combinations pairing mainstream fruit flavors with trending but less-expected tastes with sensory appeal. Bold aromatics help give all AHA options a flavor-forward taste that stands out in the crowded and competitive sparkling water category.
The calorie-free and sodium-free offerings will be available in eight-packs of 12-oz. cans and in 16-oz. individual cans at select grocers and retailers nationwide beginning March 1. Visit drinkaha.com for more information.
From vibrant, eye-catching packaging graphics, to a memorable brand name and logo, to buzzworthy social media content, a differentiated visual identity helped AHA cut through during an unprecedented launch year. In 2021, new graphics will highlight the pick-me-up credentials for AHA’s two caffeinated options: Citrus + Green Tea and Mango + Black Tea.
AHA posted strong results in its first year, exceeding expectations despite launching in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. The brand outperformed category benchmarks across key metrics like brand love, taste preference and repeat purchases, and finished 2020 with an 8.3% share of the unsweetened flavored sparkling water category. Overall, flavored sparkling water sales were up 24% from January 2020 to January 2021, with innovation accounting for 52% of total category growth (source: Nielsen Scanning All Measured Channels).
Suarez said that while multipack sales in large store/future consumption channels accounted for the majority of AHA’s 2020 volume (largely driven by lockdown-inspired stock-up shopping trips), 16-oz. cans are selling well in convenience stores and other immediate consumption outlets.
With in-store sampling – a key component of beverage launch plans off the table due to COVID-19 safety restrictions – the AHA team had find scrappy ways to get “cans in hand” through digital partnerships with meal kit companies, restaurant delivery providers and online grocers.
The brand is gearing up for an even bigger 2021.
“We’re treating this year as a relaunch,” Suarez said. “New flavors, new caffeine graphics and our first-ever integrated marketing campaign will build on our initial momentum as we pursue leadership in this fast-growing category.”
Due to ongoing aluminum can shortages, AHA will discontinue two flavors: Black Cherry + Coffee and Apple + Ginger.