PepsiCo reveals water brand Lifewtr to challenge Coca-cola's Smartwater

PepsiCo will launch a premium bottled water brand entitled Lifewtr next year, adding a new brand to the company’s portfolio, strengthening its role in healthier beverages, as well as taking aim at Coca-Cola's Smartwater.

The new brand, which is billed as "a purified water, pH balanced with electrolytes added for taste", will be available across the United States beginning in February 2017, then to other parts of the world progressively.

To differentiate itself from PepsiCo's SoBe Lifewater flavored drink brand, Lifewtr's packaging will feature rotating designs created by emerging artists. According to trade publication Beverage Digest, SoBe Lifewater will be re-branded and relaunched next year without the Lifewater name to avoid confusion.

The launch comes to meet a surging demand from consumers in the bottled water category. Figures from Beverage Marketing Corp have shown that bottled water volume grew 8% in per capita consumption last year, and has reached a high of 36.5 gallons. Coca-Cola's Smartwater controls 45% of the U.S. premium bottled water market by volume, and Fiji ranked second, accounting for 19% of the market.

"We created LIFEWTR to be as inspirational as it is functional and we’re thrilled to introduce the brand into our growing and diverse beverage portfolio," said Seth Kaufman, chief marketing officer at PepsiCo North America Beverages. "We recently announced our renewed performance with purpose goals and this is a prime example of this vision coming to life as we continue to transform our portfolio to offer top-selling beverage choices for every consumer lifestyle and occasion."