Gerolsteiner innovation offensive

Gerolsteiner's strategic focus is on both its core business of mineral water and the expansion of its range of soft drinks. "Mineral water is facing increasing competition from other drinking options, attitudes and consumer behaviour are changing: this is leading to shifts in the market. As a strong player, we take advantage of the opportunities that open up in such a dynamic environment," explains Roel Annega, CEO of Gerolsteiner Brunnen. "Our goal is to further expand our position as No. 1 in the German mineral water market and to contribute to strengthening the natural product mineral water and to position it for the future. At the same time, we want to successively develop our soft drinks business segment in the coming years, focusing on innovative beverage concepts and containers that are tailored to consumer wishes." The guiding principle and common basis for the company from the Volcanic Eifel remains the triad of quality, sustainability and innovation.

In March 2022, Gerolsteiner will launch three attractive soft drinks and a completely new mineral water in the out-of-home market in the glass longneck segment.
© Gerolsteiner Brunnen GmbH & Co. KG
Source:  Company news

The shopper must be able to orientate himself quickly in the product range, is the motto. The Gerolsteiner soft drink range will receive a new structure in 2022, which will focus on the four segments of flavoured water, spritzer, lemonade and tea. Gerolsteiner tea will be a completely new addition to the Gerolsteiner portfolio starting in April.

Gerolsteiner is also using another new launch to show how the strategic journey in the soft drinks business segment will continue. In March 2022, the mineral water bottler will launch three attractive soft drinks and a completely new mineral water in the out-of-home market in the glass longneck segment, thus setting new accents in this sales channel.

Gerolsteiner mineral water - growth against the market trend
In the period from January to September 2021, Gerolsteiner was able to increase its mineral water sales by 1.5 percent compared to the same period of the previous year and thus successfully decouples itself from the overall declining trend in the mineral water market (sales: -4.3 percent). Gerolsteiner's share of the sales market thus rose further from 9.5 percent to 10.1 percent. The fact that even a natural product like mineral water offers room for innovation is proven by the introduction of Gerolsteiner Feinperlig in January 2021, with which the mineral spring also underlines its competence in the segment of mineral waters rich in minerals. Gerolsteiner Feinperlig is a very lightly carbonated mineral water that - unlike most completely non-carbonated mineral waters - delivers 2,500 mg of natural minerals per litre, which means it is highly mineralised.

Impetus for soft drinks
In order to provide consumers with a quicker overview, Gerolsteiner will be structuring its soft drink range into the four product areas of flavoured water, spritzer, lemonade and tea from 2022. In addition, the product appearance of the soft drinks will be adapted so that the product areas are also clearly distinguished from each other visually. Products and containers are the two starting points through which Gerolsteiner wants to position itself more broadly in the business field of soft drinks and appeal to new and younger target groups in addition to existing customers. "In the market for soft drinks, we reach and serve different occasions and target groups with the two key containers 0.75-litre returnable glass and 0.75-litre non-returnable PET," Annega emphasises. Glass is in vogue and as Gerolsteiner shows, this packaging variant is also catching on in the soft drinks category. Since July, the mineral spring has been offering five of its soft drink classics in the Gerolsteiner 0.75-litre returnable glass bottle in a 6-bottle crate. The listings are very promising. In terms of new products, the new product lines Gerolsteiner Leichte Schorle and Gerolsteiner Leichte Limo kicked off in 2021. From April 2022, the Gerolsteiner range will be enriched by a new segment. Gerolsteiner Tea is the name of the tea drink in the two varieties Black Tea Lemon and Black Tea Peach. Thanks to the innovative Cold Brew process, which reduces the bitter substances, the drink tastes light but still intense and naturally refreshing. It is offered in the compact 0.75 l PET disposable container, which is suitable for consumption at home as well as on the go. The classic Gerolsteiner 0.75-litre PET non-returnable bottle will undergo a modernisation in 2022: it will be given a distinctive branding and the grip will be further improved. Since 2021, all Gerolsteiner PET non-returnable bottles have been made of 75 percent recycled PET.

Out-of-home market: refreshing new beverage concepts in longneck containers
In 2022, Gerolsteiner will be launching innovative soft drinks in 0.33 l longneck glass returnable containers, underlining its leading role in the out-of-home market. "Gerolsteiner mineral water is traditionally very strong in the out-of-home market. With innovative beverage concepts in the longneck container, we also want to score even more points in this sales area for soft drinks than before," says Annega. The trendy 0.33-litre small container is to become a platform for innovative beverage concepts from Gerolsteiner in the coming years. In March 2022, initially three products from the volume segments spritzer and lemonade will be launched: two lemonades in the flavours citrus-mint and orange-passion fruit as well as a single-origin Elstar apple spritzer. The Longneck range is rounded off by a new, exceptionally mineral-rich mineral water called Ursprung. Ursprung originates within the Gerolsteiner spring area in the volcanic Eifel from a spring where a particularly large amount of minerals are dissolved from the rock at depth. "Innovations like these make the strengths of the natural product mineral water tangible and sharpen its profile, also in differentiation from tap water," explains Annega.

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