A large range of creative, high quality French sparkling waters02-05-2017
Sparkling, fizzy or carbonated water is a type of water containing one or several gases which have been added either naturally or artificially.
French brands are very palatable and have a reputation for innovation. Primarily consumed in Europe, sparkling water also fits with a trend which began back in the 19th Century, with the spa towns, medicinal and naturally sparkling waters. Almost all brands of natural spring water or mineral water offer flavoured waters, sparkling and still.
Still or Sparkling? Sparkling all the way !
Nowadays, drinking sparkling water is once again all the rage. Bottled water has made a resounding return to the table in restaurants and is particularly favoured by a cosmopolitan target market, as much for its use (sport or medicinal), its mineral content (less salt, rich in magnesium), as for its diverse packaging solutions (glass or plastic). Brands use their creativity to compete for new consumers. The two French sparkling waters, considered flagship brands by the industry, are Perrier and Badoit. The former is sold in 140 countries worldwide and Badoit continues to grow its international presence with already 28 countries in thrall to its taste. In foreign markets, Perrier emphasises its 100% natural attribute and also its high-end appeal (in true French style). Badoit, also French, but carbonated, reaches new consumers by innovating. Recently, the brand launched a red Badoit with twice the amount of gas, whereas Eau de Perrier, made with smaller bubbles, arrived on the market shortly before. This summer, Perrier will launch a new water flavoured with watermelon.
An innovative market
The two major French sparkling brands pursue different marketing strategies. The canned format, designed for easy and practical consumption, is Perrier’s way of standing out on shelf. Badoit aligns itself with gastronomy, aiming to position itself in the top end of the sparkling water sector. In 2012, Badoit created a pop-up restaurant on the C Line of the Paris RER, lasting the 45-minute journey time, while French chef Thierry Marx announced the menu over the tannoy. Other brands communicate their authenticity, such as Quézac. Their spokesperson is a young girl who tells the legend of Quézac, dating back thousands of years. From the time of the Celts to the present day, the brand enjoys a ready-made and hugely beneficial heritage.
Vernière: the world’s No.1 regional water
If the big French sparkling water brands are internationally renowned, regional waters are gaining ground on the French market and are appreciated for their taste. The most striking example is the brand Vernière, which last February was voted the world’s No.1 sparkling water at the International Gourmet Water Competition in Paris. 50 mineral waters from 20 different countries were represented by category. Vernière took the top prize in the ‘Sparkling Waters of Character’ category. “We didn’t even know we had been nominated, so it was a wonderful surprise. At first, we thought it was a hoax but then realised it was actually true,” commented Sébastien Vinolas, Vernière’s site manager.
These aquanauts, supreme water experts, praised a water with superb mineral purity and impressive character. Its subtle, natural, citrussy flavour caught the eyes of the judges. This title has raised the profile of this little-known regional brand.
“Vernière is becoming more well-known on a national level. We have also had some international orders and it is starting to appear in some restaurants,” explains Sébastien Vinolas.
Among numerous other waters, the sparkling waters from the Auvergne, Saint-Géron and Châteldon, Vichy Célestins and Rozana are also worthy of mention. A very good offering, proving the hallmark ‘Made in France’ quality.