With its new MiO liquid flavoring, Kraft Foods is targeting "Generation Next," the 18-to-39 year old men and women who look at personalization and experimentation as a fact of everyday life.
Promoted as a water enhancer, MiO is packaged in a droplet-shaped multilayer container that fits comfortably in the palm of the hand. Each portable pod contains 1.62 fluid oz, which makes about 24 8-oz servings of the zero-calorie, sugar-free flavoring. Consumers can add as much or as little as they want to their water—or even other beverages and foods. Comments on the MiO Facebook page show that people have been experimenting by adding the flavorings to milk, soda, yogurt and ice cream.
Launched in March 2011, MiO is sold in supermarkets and mass merchandisers and comes in six flavors: Berry Pomegranate, Strawberry Watermelon, Fruit Punch, Mango Peach, Sweet Tea and Peach Tea, and sells for $3.99.
Bridget MacConnell, senior manager, corporate affairs, Kraft Foods, explains that the name MiO means "mine" in Italian, "which underscores what makes MiO so special—it lets me make my drink my way," she says.
To make MiO, consumers simply flip open the cap and squeeze out the amount they want. No stirring or shaking is needed.
"The opportunity for MiO is tremendous—in the U.S. we consume about $10 billion in bottled water and on a consumption basis, three times that much in tap water. We think MiO represents the way people will drink water in the future," MacConnell adds. "Kraft Foods is supporting this launch—-our first new food and beverage brand in about 15 years—with a significant investment."
MacConnell tells PD that MiO will be visible where its consumers are—online, late-night TV and Facebook (www.facebook.com/MiO), where 100,000 free samples were offered in the weeks building up to the March 7 launch.
Liza Laibe, Kraft beverages senior brand R&D manager, told USA Today that the idea originated at last year's "innovation day" held by Kraft's beverage unit and that "Consumers tell us they can't believe nobody has thought of this before."