Momentum grows for UK bottled water

Zenith’s 2012 UK Bottled Water market report, its 21st annual edition, shows that overall volume sales grew by 2.1% in 2011 to 2,099 million litres.

Retail sizes under 10 litres, which accounted for 87% of the total, advanced by 3.0%. In contrast, the bottled water cooler market declined by 3.1%, due to continued challenging economic conditions and loss of business to point of use coolers which use mains water supplies.

“After 20 years of dramatic growth, bottled water was held back from 2006 by a combination of a switch in types of water coolers, poor summers, the economic downturn and environmental concerns”, explained Zenith chairman Richard Hall. “Now, bottled water is back on the move again, driven by its key benefits of healthy hydration, on-​the-​go convenience, competitive pricing and environmental measures from lightweighting to recycled content in packaging.”

“Consumers continue to value the bottled water offering. With no calories or sugar, bottled water is providing consumers with a healthy hydration choice at a time when there is a continued consumer and media focus on health and wellbeing. We have seen particularly strong growth in the impulse channel as consumers look for convenient and healthy hydration on-​the-​go”, commented Natural Hydration Council general manager Kinvara Carey.

Amongst other findings of the 2012 Zenith report:

  • Still water was responsible for 86% of 2011 volume and sparkling water 14%.
  • Natural mineral water took a 62% share, spring water 30%, purified water 2% and other waters 6%.
  • Locally produced waters accounted for 78% and imported waters 22%.
  • Bottled water coolers fell to 13% of consumption, compared with a peak of 22% in 2003.
  • Packaged retail volumes are now at a record level.
  • The most popular retail pack size is 50cl, followed by 2 litre and 1.5 litre.
  • The top five retail brands by volume are Evian, Highland Spring, Buxton, Volvic and Nestlé Pure Life.

Zenith forecasts anticipate continuing moderate overall growth, taking sales up a further 14% to 2,400 million litres in 2016.

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