Natural water hits the bullseye: ‘It’s as natural as possible: and that’s very reassuring in a mass manufacturing world’

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Natural water hits the bullseye: ‘It’s as natural as possible: and that’s very reassuring in a mass manufacturing world’
Flamboyant functional waters and fancy flavoured products may hog the limelight: but natural mineral and spring waters will also continue to hit the mark for consumers.

People continue to question where products come from and how natural they are: which is good news for these products, said Richard Hall, chairman, Zenith International. 

He will be speaking at Zenith’s Global Bottled Water Congress in Lisbon, Portugal next month.

Added-value waters

The global bottled water market was worth $168bn at retail prices in 2014, and consumption is growing at 7% a year. To be held on October 20-22, congress will give a complete overview of this sizeable market, covering market insights, consumption trends, new ideas, retail challenges and including an entrepreneurs’ shoot out session.

Functional waters are expected to take a growing share of the global bottled water market.

“In the first part of the early 2000s, flavoured and functional waters grew rapidly from a small base,” ​said Hall. “In 2008 and the following years, the global economic downturn hit people’s confidence in buying some premium or more innovative products.

“The growth is now returning to added-value waters – whether premium natural waters, flavoured or functional.”

Recent waters to hit the shelves include FATwater​, a fusion of oil and water for ‘extreme hydration;’ and anti-oxidant infused Antiwater​ from Bai Brands. 

Where does my water come from?

Hall says it is clear that natural and local attributes remain of key importance to consumers. Consequently natural mineral waters and spring waters resonate with consumers.  

Natural mineral waters and spring waters are distinguished from other bottled waters by attributes such as a specific source, a certain mineral and trace element composition, or the absence of treatments.

“Science, functionality and research can enhance the way we lead our lives, but nature is something we still often prefer,” ​said Hall.

“In fact, I think natural waters will gain from other beverages over time, in part because you know exactly where the source is, and it can only come from that source.

“Natural mineral water is as natural as is possible to achieve, and that’s very reassuring in a mass manufacturing world. As the world population grows, natural sourced water will have more appeal. It hydrates, has no calories and may have a distinctive character as well as design: all that adds up to a powerful marketing story.”

However, the sector is not without challenges. Protecting catchment areas from pollution is one example, as is the threat of fracking. 

Speakers at the Global Bottled Water Congress​ will include representatives from The Coca-Cola Company, Nestle Waters, Tata Beverage Group and Tesco.

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