Everyone is always trying to improve on water. First it was Vitamin Water, whose claim to being water is highly dubious. More recently, coconut water has become all the rage, with companies cracking open coconuts and pouring the liquid inside into the hippest packaging they can develop. Now, the watermelon—the fruit that’s had the word “water” in its name all along—wants to have its day in the sun.
BevNET, “the leading industry magazine” for drinks, recently named their annual “Best of” beverages for 2014. Conquering the “Best Juice” category was WTRMLN WTR, a type of (let me do some quick decoding here) watermelon water. CEO Rob Paladino described the product to Food Navigator-USA: “It’s 100 percent watermelon, the flesh and the rind—everything except the skin—plus lemon juice, and that’s it. There’s no added sugar water or flavors.”
The beverage debuted in December 2013 with an exclusive launch at Whole Foods’s Brooklyn location before expanding to select Whole Foods branches across the country in other trendy areas like Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Pacific Northwest.
The company likes to tout the drink’s unique taste, but its nutritional value is also a huge selling point. “Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium,” Paladino continued. “Our product has 740 milligrams of potassium [per 8-ounce serving], which is almost double what you’d get in a single banana. It’s also got 540 milligrams of L-Citrulline, an amino acid great for muscle recovery, and lycopene, which has a whole lot of healthy benefits. So it’s actually much more nutrient-dense than coconut water.”
WTRMLN WTR hopes those benefits will make it a go-to beverage post-workout or anytime consumers feel like they need hydration. Or if you’re just in the mood for a tasty drink, the product has also been billed as “summer in your mouth.”
One thing WTRMLN WTR definitely has on its side: if you’re in the mood for watermelon, carrying around a 12-ounce bottle sure beats lugging around a 20-pound fruit.
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