In recent years, it has been almost impossible to miss the unprecedented rise in the popularity of craft beverages. From craft beers to craft Nitro Cold Brew (a personal favorite), people are trending towards specialty drinks more and more.
So how far will this craft beverage trend go? Well, it appears that the next big thing may be something you would never expect: Craft Water. A new DC addition, aptly named Water Bar, proudly features 40 different types of specialty water. Another local business, Salacious Drinks, offers the service of having luxury water delivered to individuals and businesses. This begs the question, is this a passing trend in a niche market or could it be the next spiked seltzer?
While consumer skepticism is common in the craft water market with many people struggling to justify paying extra for what they consider as “just water”, others are emphatic when it comes to the difference in quality, taste, and aesthetic. In fact, one of the greatest allures of craft water is its appearance. While luxury waters can differ in flavor, carbonation, minerality, and so on, a consistent characteristic that has people switching from a standard bottle of water is often the presentation. However, craft water connoisseurs will tell you that in addition to the taste, part of the appeal of craft water is the experience.
The “experience” was one of the largest contributing factors to the expansion of craft tea. While both hot and iced teas have been around for ages, specialty craft tea shops and even craft tea exhibitions and festivals are a relatively new concept. The interactivity that craft tea offers includes comparing various aromas and flavors that create unique blends to suit the customer’s taste.
Similarly to craft beer, kombucha, and cold brew alike, craft tea inspires many of its more avid drinkers to learn how to make their own batches and transforms the experience into a hobby. However, for those simply looking to buy a refreshing drink, many shops offer a variety of colorful and fruity teas. Unique flavors coupled with an Instagram-post-worthy appearance has inspired a huge growth in craft tea.
While water and tea may be some of the latest beverages to go craft, the demand for specialized products has been on the rise for years. Some attest this shift to a generational preference which asserts that Millenials and Gen Zers seek out specialization in the items they buy and the opportunity to customize goods to their unique preferences.
Furthermore, soda and other sugary beverages have been on the decline in recent years as people focus more heavily on health-consciousness options. The negative health implications of soda has led people to shift their drink preferences to healthier alternatives. With that in mind, it makes sense that there is a shift towards various craft beverages which are often fresher and more nutritious.
Will craft beverages continue their surge in growth and become a leading product in the beverage market share? Or will we see a resurgence of soda and big-name brands in the coming years? Leave a comment with your thoughts!