by Nishant Biswal who is very particular about mixing his drinks
At first glance it seems like a ridiculous idea (to me anyhow). Why would anyone want to “enhance” their water? Is Kraft Foods trying to point accusatory fingers at the water we drink ? Will the addition of some colouring agent mixed with artificial flavours actually “enhance” the next glass of water I drink ? Hard to say what the rationale is but yours truly will make an attempt to decipher the thinking behind the launch of Mio – the Liquid Water Enhancer.
As with all product launches, Kraft Foods has made an attempt at generating consumer interest (testing the waters? heh) before going for a full on assault on the flavoured beverage market. To me it seems like a unique proposition – put the end user/customer/consumer in charge of his/her drink. And I think this emphasis on empowering the consumer is what will prove to be the USP of Mio. We are bombarded with pre-fabricated beverages from all conceivable angles. Neither the carbonic acid based drinks nor the packaged fruit juices provide you any choice in terms of their content. You buy a bottle of Coke, you will have to settle for whatever taste that emerges from their closely guarded formula (the security at Coke Plaza in Atlanta will put even Fort Knox to shame). Now all of a sudden I get to decide how strong or dilute I want my glass of fruit punch to be. I don’t know about you, but to me handing over kryptonite to wannabes like me is a master stroke.
I know friends who are very particular about the sugar content in their coffee or tea. Mio is bound to be successful with such discerning taste buds. The flavours which have been zeroed in on for the launch are – Berry Pomegranate, Fruit Punch, Mango Peach, Peach Tea, Sweet Tea and Strawberry Watermelon. An eclectic range of flavours which will appeal to a diverse range of palettes. It has zero calorific content and no sugar. The makers of Mio say that the use of an artificial sweetener, Sucralose, which is 600 times sweeter than sugar more than makes up for its absence. Priced $ 3.99 each vial of Mio will last you about 24 glasses of water. In rupee terms that is about Rs. 7.5 for a glass. Mio effectively costs lesser than your 200ml bottle of Coke and packet of Frooti. Add to that the nutritional benefits and what we have is a product that can take on the might of Dabur or Coke.
Mio in Spanish translates to “mine”. And the promotional campaigns including the commercials seem to have the customer focus at the centre of their message. The commercial gives us a window into the endless opportunities we have access to in terms of flavours and the strength of these flavours in our drinks. Mio tries to transform a mundane, boring chore like drinking water into something vibrant and fun. Whether it will be successful or not, only time will tell (changing habits is not easy and some may perceive adding Mio to regular water as a deterrent). Until then you can become a follower on its Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/MiO. Check out its delightfully creative symphony commercial .
Your author will be keeping a close watch on Mio’s next offering and hopefully we will know whether Kraft Foods has managed to create a winning product.