BY HENRI ATTIAS
GLOBAL KEY ACCOUNTS VICE PRESIDENT, SIDEL
Bottled water is a volume-driven sector, although even in today’s more global environment, the world market remains fragmented. Between them, a limited number of key global players produce a multitude of brands. Some are internationally recognisable; some are even available worldwide; however most are available only regionally.
Presently it appears that sales of bottled water in Western Europe and Northern America have reached a plateau, whereas in developing countries like Latin America, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region, the market for bottled water continues to grow quite significantly. This is especially true of China and India.
Water is mankind’s number one resource
The focus on our natural resources and how we make the most of them is greater than ever. As population levels continue to increase and more people are living in cities than ever before, access to affordable water has taken on an even greater significance. With the global consumption of water continuing to grow substantially, so does the market for bottled water. This is demonstrated by an increase in sales of 28% over the five-year period from 2007 to 2012. Of the global soft drink market over that period, water accounted for 37% of the total, amassing volume sales of 229bn litres.
Consumers have become increasingly conscious of health issues
Today, we are seeing a reaffirmation of the consumption of water for its intrinsic thirst-quenching qualities and its natural attributes. For this reason, manufacturers are looking to maximise the benefits of naturally occurring waters, sometimes adding ingredients to further enhance their rehydration properties. About five years ago, a trend emerged in the bottling of flavoured waters although it ultimately failed to grow significantly because it had only limited appeal to the consumer.
How can beverage producers respond?
Currently, investment decisions are often taken later in the marketing process in the drinks industry. This usually results in the urgent need to get any new product to market quickly. Employing solutions providers with experienced technicians in many different countries in many different parts of the world, often in close proximity to customers, can help to achieve efficient installation and start-up of bottling lines. Supported by simple operation (format changeovers, cleaning and maintenance) as well as standardised settings and pre-defined procedures, downtime can be minimised – both expected and unexpected.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020