Canned water is hot: 2 startups raised a combined $40m

Key facts:

Deep Dive:

Food was not the first domain targeted by DNVB (Digital Native Vertical Brands), but after the success of some snacks, plant-based products and meal replacements, we now observe a surge of new startups beverage brands. As new alcoholic brands venture in the D2C space, the most basic beverage, water could not remain uncharted territory for startups.

Here are two recent examples of already well developed US startups that have raised significant amounts of money:

  • Liquid Death, which markets canned water raised a $9 million series A to grow faster. Why this name? Because the company’s aim is to “kill” both your thirst and the plastic linked to single-use bottles. Indeed, we can’t use our reusable water bottles in all circumstances, notably in social events. Liquid death’s cans are made of at least 70% recycle aluminium and insist on the fact that aluminium is recycled.
  • Spindrift, another startup selling water (flavoured and sparkling) in cans raises a staggering $29.8 million series C. The differentiation point is pretty simple: real fruits add the flavour, no “natural” or artificial flavouring ingredients.

DigitalFoodLab’s opinion:

What’s interesting in that both startups don’t sell “just water” but each has something more:

  • Liquid Death’s brand is both about recycling and the environment and fun as shown in this… unexpected video ad
  • Spindrift is about really natural products (and therefore transparency)

This should not be seen as isolated, it is a message send to big brands by consumers who want to tell the world about their values in products as simple as water.

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