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(April 5, 2001) -- Clearly Canadian Beverage Corp. is rolling out enhanced water in various U.S. markets this month with an eye toward national distribution next year, as reported on AdAge.com, April 2. The brand, Reebok Fitness Water, which is being licensed by the footwear manufacturer, will have vitamins B and C and other nutrients.

"Instead of doing herbals, [our consumers] are much more interested in vitamin B and vitamin C and chromium," said Jonathan Cronin, vice president-marketing at Clearly Canadian. He said ads would preach the benefits of the additives.

The target is 18- to 24-year-old women.

The citrus- and berry-flavored drinks are sweetened with acesulfame and have 30 calories; an unflavored version has no calories. Mr. Cronin said a comparable amount of Quaker Oats Co.'s Gatorade would have 250 calories, while so-called functional beverages could have 350. Mr. Cronin said Reebok Fitness Water has more vitamins and minerals than Coca-Cola Cos.' Disani water. The 24-ounce bottles will retail for $1.29 to $1.79.

The beverage will be sold in Arizona, New England, New York, Portland, Ore., Seattle and St. Louis. The company eventually will expand sizes and flavors.

The immediate focus will be grocery, drug and convenience stores, with health clubs, golf courses and beaches a secondary market. Sampling will be used this summer, and the drinks will be shown in some Reebok ads.

Collateral material and trade advertising were handled by Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide's Karacters Design, Vancouver, British Columbia. The tag is "Essential refreshment." The last time Clearly Canadian spent ad money was in 1996, with $376,800 in measured media, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. -- Hillary Chura

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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