Coca-Cola’s Aha sparkling water launch has fallen behind the pace set in 2018 by PepsiCo’s Bubly introduction, according to US retail data tracked by BD. Following its March launch, Aha reached a 2.5 dollar and volume share of the sparkling water category during the first nine months of this year. That compares to a roughly 3.5 share attained by Bubly in the first nine months of 2018, according to BD analysis. PepsiCo launched Bubly in February of that year, while Aha launched one month later in the calendar, accounting for some of the disparity. More importantly, Coke’s Aha launch faced considerable disruption as retailers abandoned shelf resets and supply chains fell into chaos after the COVID-19 pandemic exploded in the US in March and panicked consumers flooded stores to stock up on provisions.
COKE GAINS SPARKLING WATER SHARE. Overall, Coca-Cola gained dollar and volume share of the US sparkling water at retail during the nine-month period, as shown in the table with this story. The gain was thanks in part to Topo Chico, which grew both volume and dollars by more than +45%. The larger Bubly brand also grew dollar and volume share after growth of about +40%.
OTHER MOVERS. Polar seltzer, which grew about +20% during the nine-month period, is currently transitioning into the Keurig Dr Pepper system following a distribution deal signed over the summer (BD 8/12/20). That will give KDP stronger footing in the fast-growing category following share losses for Schweppes and Canada Dry seltzers this year. LaCroix, meanwhile, continued to regain its footing with growth that surpassed +15% and share losses that decelerated compared to the first half of this year, when the brand lost -0.4 volume share points and -0.7 dollar share points. Talking Rain’s Sparkling Ice, the only sweetened brand in the data set, posted strong sales and share gains.