Zenith’s 2011 UK Bottled Water market report, its 20th annual edition, shows that overall volume sales grew by 0.7% in 2010 to 2,055 million litres. Retail sizes under 10 litres, which accounted for 83% of the total, achieved 2.4% growth. In contrast, the bottled cooler market declined by 8.3%, due to ongoing challenging economic conditions and continued loss of business to plumbed-in water coolers, also known as point of use machines. “There remain five key dynamics in the UK bottled water market at the moment and they are not all pointing in the same direction,” commented Zenith Chairman Richard Hall.
“We have always believed that the benefits of convenient healthy hydration create an underlying momentum towards long term growth. Against that, concerns have been raised about environmental impact, but these are progressively being answered. The economic downturn has been another adverse factor in the past three years, putting greater emphasis on value for money.
“The weather is also an important variable – very poor in both 2007 and 2008, but somewhat more favourable in 2009 and 2010. Finally, the water cooler segment has changed dramatically – from rapid growth in bottles to even higher consumption from point of use,” he concluded.
Amongst other findings of the 2011 Zenith report:
¨ Still water was responsible for 86% of 2010 volume and sparkling water 14%.
¨ Natural mineral water took a 61% share, spring water 28%, purified water 2% and other waters 9%.
¨ Locally produced waters accounted for 76% and imported waters 24%.
¨ Bottled water coolers have fallen to 14% of consumption, compared with 21% in 2004.
¨ Packaged retail volumes are 4% higher than five years ago.
¨ 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, Volvic, Buxton and Aqua-Pura.
Zenith’s forecasts anticipate continuing moderate overall growth, taking sales up a further 14% to 2,340 million litres by 2015.