Naturally flavored bottled waters continue to be the craze with consumers who are consistently looking for the next best thing promoting health and well-being.
The bottled water industry is a $13 billion business where everyone on the Who’s Who list of beverage production is looking to infuse water with vitamin-rich concoctions. According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, water consumption is enjoying an all-time high in the U.S with bottled water sales having grown by more that 7 per cent last year.
Now, the Zegler trend-o-meter is telling us that “tree water” is among the hottest new foods for 2015. Coconut water, step aside! Asparagus water, see you later! The new kid on the block it seems is maple water, boasting of close to 50 different nutrients but only half the calories and sugars (25 calories per 250 ml serving) of coconut water.
The irony is, according to Happy Tree, innovator of the first cold pressed/HPP maple water, this “new kid” on the shelves of retail stores has been around for a long time. “Maple water has been cherished as a health tonic for thousands of years. Native Americans enjoyed it to celebrate Spring, and it’s enjoyed in South Korea as a health cleanse”, the company told OWN.
Maple water, not to be confused with maple syrup, is the sap tapped directly from the maple tree during the spring season. The sap is pure ground water that makes its way up through the roots of the tree, replenishing the tree with vital nutrients.
It has the same consistency as water but with a woody sweetness.
Don’t worry about over harvesting, Happy Tree tells its consumer audience. “A typical tree has 200 gallons of water running through it. This past spring we took an (average) 12 gallons per tree” it tweeted last week.
Only formed last year, the company announced in July that its sales had already tripled since March. It expanded its product line in June to include a version of maple water with a lemon twist.
Growing consumer interest in Happy Tree Raw Organic Maple Water comes with a challenge: supplying customers with a product that is produced for a very small portion of the year. “Maple water flows just once a year – in the spring – when the trees’ nutrients are in abundance… The main challenge has been how to offer maple water in its natural form – unpasteurized and without preservatives or additives – all year round!”, the company said.
And though keeping it raw and organic means a limited shelf life, the company is keen on not compromising these traits. Even the packaging chosen for the product had to be sustainable. Our bottles are BPA-free, made in the US, and 100% recyclable. We obviously rather drink it straight from the tree, but we selected the next best viable option as far as sustainability is concerned”, they added.
The company was able to partner with Whole Foods Market to have the products available in about half of their stores, including stores in New York City, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Seattle markets.
They can also be found in many health grocers across the country, including The Fresh Market, Bristol Farms, Kings and Mom’s.