Bottled water consumption booms in Australia and the US

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 20th April 2016

Two new studies, separately released this week from Roy Morgan Research and Euromonitor International respectively, show how bottled water consumption is increasing in both Australia and the US.

Over 5 million Australians drank bottled water in 2015

Across 2015, approximately 5.3 million Australians, or 27.1 per cent of the population, drank bottled water in any given seven days says Roy Morgan Research in its report. This was an increase on 2014 when only 4.9 million Australians drank bottled water every week.

Australia’s Top Ten most popular bottled water brands











Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January–December 2015 (n=3,662)

According to Roy Morgan Research, Mount Franklin is by far Australia’s favourite bottled water brand. It was consumed by nearly 40 per cent of all bottled-water drinkers weekly. The second favourite option is Coles’ private label ‘Coles Natural Spring Water’ with 14 per cent of bottled water drinkers consuming it weekly.

More women than men drink bottled water

Overall, more Australian women (29.7 per cent) are drink bottled water than men (24.5 per cent). Both females and males tend to drink different brands of water equally except for Cool Ridge and Fiji Water which is consumed more often by females than males. Slightly more males than females drink Peats Ridge.

Age and location differences

Younger Australians are more likely to purchase and consume bottled water. Those in the 25 – 34 year old age bracket were the most likely to buy water.

Western Australians like bottled water the most, 30.2 per cent of the state’s residents drink the product weekly. NSW follows with 29 per cent of its citizens drinking bottled water weekly and Tasmania falls below the state average with a 22.3 per cent consumption rate.

Comments by researchers  

Andrew Price, General Manager of Consumer Products at Roy Morgan Research said the data reveals some interesting insights into what urges consumers to purchase one bottled water over another.

“A theme emerges pretty quickly when we look at Australia’s 10 most widely consumed bottled waters: brand names that evoke images of nature (Mount Franklin, Cool Ridge, Peats Ridge, Fiji Water) or purity (Aqua Pura, Coles Natural Spring Water),” Price said.

“Selling something we can drink for free from the tap is a big ask, but by emphasising the natural and untouched quality of their water, these brands are implying (without stating outright) that they are better for the consumer than tap water,” he stated.

“This message appears to be resonating with more women than men: not only do they drink more of it, as explained above, but slightly more of them (2.2 million women vs 2 million men) agree that ‘bottled water is better to drink than tap water’,” he continued.

“Mind you, Cool Ridge’s particular success with women (who comprise 64% of all Cool Ridge drinkers) may also have something to do with its ultra-cute advertising campaign featuring puppets of native fauna brainstorming ideas to market their brand!” Price said.

Bottled water to surpass Soft Drink consumption in 2016, US forecast

According to Euromonitor International’s report, Americans are expected to consume more bottled water in 2016 than soft drink. This breaks down to an expectation that the average American should drink approximately 102 litres of bottled water whilst they should only drink approximately 98 litres of soft drink.

Total bottled water sales equalled US $39.3 billion in 2015 in the US, a record high.

Nestle Water North America remains as the US’ largest branded bottle water owner with off-trade volume sales of US $8.2 billion for 2015.

The Euromonitor International report said US consumers are continuing to embrace bottled water despite some consumers holding environmental concerns.

“This product has had success leveraging its naturally healthy attributes when compared with other types of soft drinks, such as carbonates and sports drinks, which both contain high levels of natural and/or artificial sweeteners,” the Euromonitor International report stated.

Carbonated water taking off in the US

Euromonitor International reported that carbonated bottled water grew by 9 per cent in off-trade volumes in 2015.

“Flavoured carbonated water (tracked in flavoured bottled water) has been presented as a healthy alternative to the struggling carbonates category, with such products continuing to be demonised as a contributor to the spread of obesity in the US,” the Euromonitor International report said.