By Steve Rivkin
Fruitwater. It’s the name of a new sparkling water, so that would be fruit + water, right? Well, not so fast. Because what you see is not always what you get.
“A more accurate name would be Fruitlesswater, because that’s the reality,” wrote newspaper consumer columnist Kevin DeMarrais.
Shame on Coca-Cola and its Glaceau unit, which is foisting this fruitless fakery. Fruitwater is a zero-calorie drink sweetened with Splenda (sucralose), and it comes in zippy flavors such as Strawberry Kiwi and Orange Mango. But it contains no fruit. Zero fruit. Cero de frutas.
Sparkling water beverages account for nearly one billion dollars a year in sales, with a consumer base that traditionally skews older than others within the carbonated beverage industry. The brand’s senior brand manager hopes Fruitwater will appeal to a broader audience and bring younger consumers into the category.
And the way to do that is by – chicanery and tomfoolery? Why not a playful but arresting name such as Brizi (inspired by a Grecian goddess). Or Cool Blend. Or Flavio.
In a post earlier this year — we castigated hotel marketers for deceitful names. (The Hilton London Kensington Hotel, for instance, is nowhere near the museums and chic shops associated with the Kensington district; it’s a goodly distance away, in far west London.)
Putting your best foot forward with a sparkling name – we get that. But actually misleading the consumer? Coca-Cola is all wet on this one.