‘Huge potential’ in children’s bottled water category

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Bottled water can offer an alternative to soda. Pic:iStock/Kerkez
Bottled water can offer an alternative to soda. Pic:iStock/Kerkez

Related tags Bottled water

As concerns over childhood obesity continue to grow - and with sugary drinks under particular scrutiny – there’s a big opportunity for children’s bottled water, according to Zenith International.  

Childhood obesity is identified by the World Health Organization as ‘one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st​ century’.​ In 2013, 42 million infants and young children were overweight or obese: if current trends continue, the WHO predicts this figure will rise to 70 million young children by 2025.

There are a number of children’s bottled water brands on the market already. But there’s an opportunity for the market to grow much more, said Esther Renfrew, market intelligence director, Zenith International, speaking at Zenith’s Global Bottled Water Congress in Prague this month.

“Children’s bottled water is something that the industry is now responding to much more,” ​she said. “There’s the move away from sugary beverages, the concern on obesity.”

Add to that water’s role in hydration, and there’s definitely a place for bottled water in child nutrition, added Renfrew.

Market could grow 7% a year

In 2016, 26% of the population is aged between 0-14 years old. That means the market has a potential size of 53bn liters.

“That’s not what it is, but what it could be,” ​said Renfrew. “There’s huge potential out there.”

The children’s bottled water market has the potential to increase by 7% a year to 2021.

In addition, today’s children’s bottled water brands are priced 20%-50% higher than regular bottled water, offering a good margin on products.

Trends and innovation

In packaging, children’s bottled water brands need to be an appropriate size and shape for their audience, with bottles suited to little hands. Caps, too, need to be suited to the audience.

Use of children’s characters in labelling and marketing is common, as are designs to appeal to younger consumers.

Adding a children’s brand offers a portfolio expansion opportunity for bottled water brands, both into plain water and flavored water.

With health in mind, reformulation is particularly important in the children’s category, particularly with regards to sugar and natural ingredients.

Two case studies: Tickle Water & Cabreiroá

Tickle Water


Tickle Water​ was created by mother Heather McDowell, who realised that her son Jayger liked the ‘tickling’ sensation of sparkling water.

The drink is unsweetened and free from artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. It is also GMO-free and gluten-free. Tickle Water is available in the US in four flavors: original sparkling water, green apple, cola, and watermelon.

It is packaged in 8oz PET cans, designed as a kid-friendly size to go in lunch boxes or for consumption on-the-go.

Cabreiroá ‘Paw Patrol’

paw patrol

The Paw Patrol characters feature on Cabreiroa 33cl PET bottles, which also have different colored sports caps and backgrounds.

The initiative targets children aged between 3 and 10 years old.

The drinks, from Spain’s Hijos de Rivera SAU, were the winner of the ‘best label’ category in the Zenith 2016 Global Bottled Water Awards.  

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