Staying hydrated throughout the workday is essential for workplace wellbeing. But with plain water becoming boring after a while, many are now turning to flavored waters as a healthier alternative.
So what do consumers really expect from flavor-infused beverages?
A recent study published in the Journal of Functional Foods looked into this question and surveyed over 400 adult consumers in the US. It found that 39% of participants were more likely to choose flavored water than plain water due to its taste and added benefits such as vitamins and minerals.
Additionally, 83% said it was important for their beverage to have natural flavors, while 68% were looking for no added sugars.
These findings are consistent with other studies on flavored waters  indicating how important flavor is when choosing a beverage - particularly for staying hydrated throughout the day.
Office workers are no longer drawn to traditional functional beverages that rely on sugar or synthetic additives to provide a quick energy boost. Instead, they are looking for beverages infused with ingredients that offer specific health benefits while avoiding the potential drawbacks of sugary drinks, such as blood sugar fluctuations or digestive issues.
Consumers are looking for options that strike a balance between flavor and health. This trend is expected to become even more prominent as people gradually transition away from sugary drinks and towards alternative beverage options like vitamin-enhanced or sugar-free flavored waters. Functional beverages are becoming a popular choice, with purported benefits for energy levels and mental focus during the workday.
 Consumer Expectation of Flavored Water Functionality, (2020), https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11101434
 Sarmiento et al., (2015), Food Quality and Preference, 43:109-118
 Henley et al., (2016), Food Science & Nutrition, 4(10): 1481–1490