Momentum continues for bottled water industry

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 16th September 2008

Global bottled water consumption advanced 6% to 206 billion litres in 2007, according to the new 2008 Global Bottled Water report from leading drinks consultancy Zenith International. Escalating demand for pure water in emerging markets outweighed the impact of poor summer weather in the most developed market of West Europe.Asia/Australasia reinforced its position as the largest regional market with a 26.5% share, achieving a 10% increase on 2006 volumes. Volumes climbed in all other regions except West Europe, which dipped by 0.2%.

“Media debate about the environmental impact of bottled water will have had some impact in the United States and West Europe, but last year’s wet summer was of greater consequence in West Europe,” commented Zenith Market Intelligence Director Gary Roethenbaugh. “The resilience of the global bottled water market shows that consumers continue to believe in the benefits of its purity and convenience.”

The report established that consumption per person increased by 1.4 litres on 2006 figures to 30.8 litres in 2007.

Australian consumers have been slow to embrace bottled water, but it has been one of the fastest growing beverages over the last six years with average growth of 10% per annum. However, with average annual consumption still below at around 12L per person per year (according to IBIS World), Australians lag well behind Italians – who consume about 200L each every year.

Other points highlighted by the Zenith report include:

* The United States and China were the two largest national markets by volume, with Indonesia and Mexico maintaining their lead over Italy in 5th place.
* Still water continued to outpace sparkling water, reaching 86% of total volume.
* Bulk sizes above 10 litres accounted for 36% of overall consumption.

The world’s top four bottled water companies – Nestlé, Danone, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo – maintained their 2006 combined volume share of 33%. Danone and Nestlé each own three of the top 10 brands by volume. The top five global brands in volume terms were Aqua from Danone, Pure Life from Nestlé, Aquafina from PepsiCo, Electropura also from PepsiCo and Poland Spring from Nestlé Waters North America. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo each have two brands in the top 10.

Zenith predicts bottled water consumption will rise a further 32% to 272 billion litres in 2012 in spite of recent negative media reports.