Health and wellness is a key factor driving the bottled water category, with consumers increasingly turning to the beverage for calorie free, pure hydration; while in some markets it offers consumers assured safety and quality.
The category has been growing worldwide in recent years but now Zenith sees it poised to overtake all other soft drink categories this year.
“This is all the more remarkable because other soft drinks include carbonates, juices, energy, sports, concentrates, ready to drink teas and coffees, some of which are also growing strongly,” said Richard Hall, chairman, Zenith Global, speaking at the 15th Global Bottled Water Congress in Evian, France, this week.
“Bottled water consumption reached 418bn litres in 2017, up 92% since 2007, an average approaching 7% a year and a 10 year increase of 200bn litres. All other soft drinks totalled 438bn litres in 2017, up 24% since 2007, an average of 2% a year and a 10 year increase of 84bn litres.
“We are therefore forecasting 2018 will be the year when bottled water exceeds the total for all other non-alcoholic beverages.”
The data comes from Zenith Global's new online globaldrinks.com database, launched this week, which covers 24 non-alcoholic beverage categories and segments across 86 countries in both volume and value, with figures going back to 2006 and forecasts up to 2022.
Information from the database compares bottled water prices for five market segments over the past 10 years. “This shows that the vast majority of bottled water is not only healthy, convenient and local, it is also very affordably priced with virtually no increase in average prices during the past ten years,” said Hall.
“The price of bulk water in packs over 10 litres has consistently averaged out at $0.15 or less per litre and the average for smaller packs of still water has not risen above $0.65 per litre. Nevertheless, there is a strong premium for other waters, with sparkling water averaging up to US$0.97 per litre, flavoured water up to US$1.49 per litre and functional water up to US$1.95 per litre.”