‘Hydration Activation!’ Zenith Congress seeks to sustain bottled water growth

By Ben BOUCKLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Budapest Parliament, Hungary (Frank Schmidt/Flickr)
Budapest Parliament, Hungary (Frank Schmidt/Flickr)

Related tags: Water

Zenith International’s 2014 Global Bottled Water Congress will take place in Budapest from October 6, and Chairman Richard Hall says it will focus on maintaining the category’s positive global momentum.

Category bottled water volumes have grown at an annual 7% over the last three years to 300bn litres, he told BeverageDaily.com, with Asia still the main growth engine due to increased urbanisation and economic stability. The region accounted for 38% of 2013 global volume sales versus 28% in 2008.

Under the umbrella theme of ‘Hydration Activation’, the Congress – to be held at the InterContinental Hotel from October 6-8, you can read more or book here​ – will explore global bottled water trends and issues, as well as innovations in flavored and functional waters.

Regional market overviews will examine topics including ‘Combining Tradition and Innovation’, by Levente Balogh, CEO of Hungary’s Szentkiralyi, and ‘Building Premium Brands in a Competitive Market’, by Piotr Kamecki from Polskie Zdroje/Cisowianka.

Global market perspectives include a keynote address on consumer understanding of ‘healthy’ by Marco Settembri, Chairman and CEO of Nestlé Waters, and an address on ‘Challenging Established Thinking’ by Andy Peykoff, founder and Chairman of US firm Niagara Bottling.

Speaking ahead of next month’s event, Hall told this website that bottled water was gaining a lot of “natural momentum”​ – due to its carrying convenience for on-the-go consumption and the problems presented by poor tap water in many parts of the world.

“There is so much more to promote in terms of health and the environment, image and style, plus the differences between waters,”​ Hall said.

“We should also recognize the social contribution that bottled water makes to water conservation and rural employment,”​ he added.

Hall said that many CEOs planned to attend Zenith’s Budapest Congress, which also includes a tour of the Szentkiralyi Mineral Water plant on the final day.

“Principal elements include a focus on Eastern European markets, global market developments and specific opportunities – including China, home dispense and kids,”​ Hall said.

“There will also be an entrepreneur shootout between the producer of a beauty water, a maple water and the developer of a new packaging material,”​ he added.

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