Nestlé Waters’ S.Pellegrino, the UK number one sparkling water brand1, has expanded its range this summer with the launch of the S. Pellegrino ESSENZA range. Building on S.Pellegrino’s 120 years heritage of taste and style, ESSENZA combines a subtle blend of Mediterranean flavours and S. Pellegrino bubbles, in a stylish 33cl can format.

Left to right: Marina Del Monte, Nestle Waters, Haleem Sadiq, Bestway Wholesale and Severine Hemms, Nestle Waters.

S. Pellegrino ESSENZA is available in major UK wholesalers and retail outlets with an activation programme. The Nestlé Waters team invited Wholesale Manager to join them at Bestway’s flagship depot in Abbey Road, Park Royal, London to find out more.

Caught on camera with S.Pellegrino ESSENZA You can see video excerpts from this interview here:

We start our visit to Abbey Road by talking to Marina Del Monte, Category and Shopper Development Lead OOH at Nestlé Waters, who takes us through the background to the S. Pellegrino ESSENZA launch: “There’s also a whole trend of health-conscious consumers looking for more balance in their soft drinks in terms of less sugar, less calories or even more natural flavourings and this has shaped the category recently, with new launches and NPD addressing this trend, which we are responding to with the launch of ESSENZA.”

In cash and carries Nestlé Waters caters for the different kinds of customers with complementary brands in a variety of sizes and formats. Marina Del Monte talks through the options:

“Nestlé Pure Life is the number one bottled water in the world; Buxton is the number one British mineral water with the highest rate of sale in convenience; we also have our iconic French brand Perrier, which includes plain sparkling water and flavoured sparkling water, Perrier & Flavours and Perrier and Juice: and we have S. Pellegrino, which is the biggest sparkling water brand in the UK, and which we are complementing with the ESSENZA range.”

The Nestlé Waters portfolio is available in different sizes and formats in glass and PETs, appealing to different consumers and customers, from independents to foodservice.

The biggest trend impacting on demand for soft drinks and waters, says Marina, is health conscious consumers looking for healthier, more balanced drinks, be it less sugar, less calories, less flavourings but also no one wants to compromise on taste, which is where new S. Pellegrino ESSENZA comes in:

“Consumers want something enjoyable and exciting that complements social occasions and enhances their experience when they’re having food. Also, with our busy lifestyles we are looking for more convenient ways to consume drinks. That’s why we believe ESSENZA has a big role to play in the growth of this category, a zero calorie, zero sugar and natural flavoured sparkling water, in a convenient size can, addressing all the trends.”

Having given us the background, Marina Del Monte then hands over to Severine Hemms, Nestlé Waters Shopper Marketing Manager, to present the S. Pellegrino ESSENZA story:

“ESSENZA is the latest exciting launch from Nestlé Waters,” says Severine. “After 120 years as the classic global sparkling water brand, S Pellegrino ESSENZA offers a new aesthetic experience for shoppers looking to enhance their casual meal occasions with their friends and family. The flavoured sparkling water range is well suited to form part of the meal deal offer, with no artificial flavours and is calorie free.” What ESSENZA is about, says Severine, is using the signature S. Pellegrino gentle water bubbles combined with fresh Mediterranean flavours: “ESSENZA comes in three flavours. Lemon & Lemon Zest is very light, surprisingly refreshing, really fun and elegant and perfectly paired with light dishes like fish, salad or fruit. The second flavour Tangerine & Strawberry, is a bit richer and more intense, and pairs really well with tomato pasta, cooked vegetables and even ice cream. The third flavour is the Dark Morello & Cherry flavour, which goes really well with intense dishes like red meat, chocolate or rich sauces.

“The rationale behind the launch,” she goes on, “is that shoppers are looking for a variety of options when eating and drinking out of home. There is a growing demand from consumers and shoppers who want healthier beverages but don’t want to compromise on taste. The S.Pellegrino ESSENZA range ticks all the boxes – it’s created with 100% natural ingredients, contains no artificial flavours, and is calorie free. Innovation like this is really important within the sparkling water category in order to meet this demand and continue to excite the taste buds of shoppers.”

Getting the trade onside

For the launch of S. Pellegrino ESSENZA, Nestlé Waters has developed an exciting trade activation plan for wholesalers and convenience retailer, Severine Hemms says as we speak in the busy Bestway depot: “We have created some sampling activity, like the one in this depot here today, which aims to drive trial, allowing shoppers and retailers to taste Essenza and appreciate the freshness and the gentle bubbles. We also have some branded point of sale to create theatre in depots and for convenience retailers we have developed an exciting POS toolkit, comprising of an ESSENZA poster, wobblers and chiller barkers to help independent retailers drive awareness of ESSENZA to their shoppers and complement their food on-the-go offer.”

We end our visit to Abbey Road by talking to Haleem Sadiq, Bestway Wholesale Trading Controller.

“Soft drinks are a big and very important category and a destination category,” Haleem tells us, “and we’re seeing double digit growth year on year. The biggest trends we’re finding are NPD and premiumisation. A lot of retailer customers are looking for premium products and Bestway have always been quick to launch NPD and tap into new and upcoming trends, for example flavoured and sparkling water.”

When it comes to growing water sales, Haleem says Bestway offers retailers some great category advice and hints and tips and also planogram advice, which is also available on our website: “I would advise retailers to stock the bestsellers, block the brands together and concentrate on the healthier options. If retailers follow our category advice I would expect them to at least replicate the category growth we are seeing in symbols and independent stores, which is ten percent.

Haleem says Nestlé Water’s biggest brands at Bestway are Buxton, Nestlé Pure Life and S. Pellegrino: “They are all seeing double-digit growth year on year and a mix of retailers and foodservice customers are buying in.”

As we end our visit to Bestway on what turns out to be the hottest day of the year so far, we get Haleem’s thoughts on the new S. Pellegrino Essenza and he is impressed:

“The new product is very refreshing, and with zero calories and no sugar it is perfect to tap into the demand for healthier products in soft drinks.”

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