ZenWTR staked a claim when it entered the crowded water market in 2020 as the world's first beverage in a bottle made from 100% recycled, certified ocean-bound PET (rPET) plastic. The start-up brand launched the ultra-pure, vapor-distilled alkaline water in three rPET bottle sizes at Whole Foods Market stores nationwide on June 11, 2020.
Three years later the company is now expanding the brand’s packaging options to include aluminum and glass bottles. The reason behind the diversification is simple: give the customer what he or she wants in a sustainable package.
“Our vision is for ZenWTR to be a ‘Pantheon of Sustainability’ and consumers’ go-to brand for sustainable, premium packaged water,” Jessy Qussar, the Zen VP of marketing, informs us. “These new formats provide additional sustainable options for consumers to enjoy ZenWTR, so that, whatever your preferred package is, we have something for you.”
Consumers are not necessarily tied to a particular format; an intended use occasion may influence their choice as well.
“Acknowledging that there are a variety of factors that influencer consumers’ selections when it comes to bottled water packaging — for instance, glass bottles are not allowed on most beaches — with these new formats, we’re able to offer the water our consumers love in additional sustainable packages to meets their specific needs,” Qussar points out.
Each of the three materials has its own strengths, which are highlighted on the bottle. For example, the flagship rPET bottles call attention to the 100% recycled ocean-bound plastic on the front panel.
“We've also devoted space on the back panel to defining what Ocean-Bound Plastic is, and the positive impact of each ZenWTR bottle — that each is made from up to 5 recycled ocean-bound plastic bottles, that were prevented from polluting the ocean,” Qussar explains. “This is still a fairly new proposition and general awareness is relatively low.”
ZenWTR is well on its way to the goal of supporting the diversion of 50 million pounds of ocean-bound plastic by 2025. The brand lays claim as the first beverage to achieve Plastic Negative Certification and donates 1% of all sales to credible organizations focused on ocean conservation and recycling advancement in the US.
16-ounce aluminum bottle is the water brand’s first alternative packaging format.
The first option to the rPET bottle will be a 16-ounce Alumi-Tek bottle supplied by Ball.
“We'll be testing the new, 100% infinitely recycled Alumi-Tek bottle at retail this year with a larger rollout in 2024,” Qussar says.
The metal bottle is also aligned with the company’s mission to help preserve our oceans.
“Although this package isn’t made from rescued ocean-bound plastic like our flagship rPET bottles, we’re working with the Plastic Credit Exchange to support programs that rescue and recycle the equivalent of five ocean-bound plastic bottles for every Alumi-Tek bottle sold,” Qussar says.
The bottles are direct printed including with copy stating they are made from “Infinitely Recyclable Aluminum.”
The brand will be adding a 1-Liter glass bottle to their product lineup as well.
The packaging design is not yet final for the glass bottle option. However, “we plan to include on-package messaging of its sustainability as well,” Qussar points out.
There’s always the risk a line extension or new stock-keeping unit could erode current sales volumes. However, Qussar doesn’t anticipate the new bottle formats will cannibalize rPET bottle sales, but instead expects quite the opposite.
“We anticipate incremental sales among consumers and retailers seeking bottled water in these additional formats,” she says.
The expansion in packaging materials is accompanied by a refreshed brand design reinforcing its commitment to ocean preservation and sustainability.
According to Qussar, “We designed our new bottles starting with a beautiful blue ombre that visually evokes the look of the ocean, is stunning on-shelf, and visually ties to our brand’s mission to help preserve our oceans.”
Brand and packaging design refresh accompanied by new marketing campaign.
To support the brand refresh, ZenWTR is rolling out a new integrated marketing campaign, featuring the new packaging and the message that ZenWTR "Tastes Good, Does Good and Feels Good."
It will include out-of-home advertising, retail and shopper marketing, and national field marketing efforts.
"We are thrilled to unveil this brand refresh, with our taste-forward and mission-centric messaging front and center," says Lance Collins, ZenWTR founder and beverage industry veteran. "We remain steadfast in our commitment to sustainability and ensuring that every sip of ZenWTR supports positive change. We know our fans love ZenWTR for our crisp, ultra-pure taste and because we make it easy to for them to do a little better for our planet. That sentiment is at the heart of our new campaign, and we plan to have some fun bringing it to life this summer."