More Than Just Water… If You Believe The Hype!

Who would have thought 20 years ago, water would become a billion dollar category? Having just returned from the USA and seen it first hand, water is big business. The category is expanding beyond the initial offering of bottled spring water to a whole new category of value added, health waters. The range and choice is now mind boggling!

In this blog, we feature and analyse the cool and clever packaging of water brand, function: Urban Detox, to see what we can learn.

function: Urban Detox

1. Great name. For young city dwellers, Urban Detox has huge resonance.

2. The green circle you can see says, “Created by Physicians.” Creates huge credibility that what is contained in the bottle is ‘physician proven’ to be good for you.

3. The back of bottle copy is clever – and again, screams ‘buy me’ to its young, hip, urban target market. See the excerpt below. Now, think of the potential of this kind of copy on a produce package.

“You are a city warrior. You jog in the smog and party on work nights. As a result of your noble escapades, you are easily run down. Function: Urban Detox helps your body naturally repair, getting you ready to go back into battle.

“Featuring a combination of prickly pear extract and the ‘smog-scrubbing super-antioxidant N-acetylcysteine, Urban Detox is designed to support healthy lungs and sinuses in the face of particulate airborne pollution. These same ingredients maximize your body’s efforts in combating hangovers.

“Play as hard as you work. Let Function: Urban Detox be your shield.”

4. There is a green body diagram on the back of the bottle with a bar chart that says, “Relative functional units.” Above this, it shows just how much ‘benefit’ the two additives are delivering to your body’s Lungs/Sinuses, Liver and Head. If you don’t think too hard about it, this section supports the fact the drink has got to be good for you. It sounds scientific, although I personally have no idea what a “Relative functional unit” is.

5. The final interesting part of the bottle is the very tiny words at the very bottom of the label that state, “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” Apparently, this is how you make a health claim without actually making a health claim.

What’s in the ingredients you ask? Surely, to be this good, it must contain something pretty fantastic, yeah? Here are the ingredients: Water, Cane Sugar, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor (natural fruit extracts), Purple Carrot Juice Concentrate (color), Purple Sweet Potato Juice (color). Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Prickly Pear Extract, Pyridoxine Hydrocholoride (Vit B6), Magnesium Oxide, Calcium Phosphate, Gum Arabic, Niacinamide (Vit B3), Ester Gum, Folic Acid and Cyanocobalamin (Vit B12).

If this doesn’t proven the power of marketing…nothing does. Basically, this product appears to be just water, sugar, flavours and some colour.

As cynical as I might be, the goal of this blog is to learn from the best. In that regard, function: Urban Detox is a great example of:

1. Knowing your product’s specific nutritional attributes and linking it to a specific, desirable benefit that has cut through with your targeted buyer.

* Fresh produce can learn from this example because we tend to state a generic health benefit (e.g. high in Vitamin C) and not link it to a specific, beneficial outcome for the consumer.

2. There is power in knowing and understanding the needs and motivations of your target market. This enables you to speak to them…to reach out and say the things they want to hear.

* In fresh produce, we have survived by being mass marketers, not niche marketers. Macro consumer trends all point to consumers wanting more customised products. If we don’t conform to this customisation trend, we run the risk of losing consumers who want health products that better target their unique needs.

Remember – your ‘on-pack message’ is a minature marketing billboard. It’s seen by thousands of shoppers each week. If you are not optimising your on-pack message, you are not getting maximum value from your packaging spend and you are missing out on sales. We help fresh produce growers and retailers transform the ‘brand message’ on their packaging from being plain and perfunctory to being a powerful marketing tool that drives sales, captures attention and builds stronger relationships with customers.


function: Urban Detox water 1


‘Relative functional units’ diagram