UK consumption of bottled water drinks rose 8.2% in 2015 to reach almost 3.3bn litres, with a retail value in excess of £2.5bn, according to a series of new reports from industry consultant Zenith International.
Volumes have more than doubled over the past 15 years and consumption per person now stands at more than 51 litres a year, with plain water at 44 litres and water plus at 7.6 litres, Zenith said.
In 2015, plain water sales in retail pack sizes jumped by 9.1% to over 2.5bn litres, while water cooler sales advanced 5% to 296m litres. Flavoured, functional and juicy water plus drinks increased by 5.7% to a volume of 486m litres.
The findings have been published in three separate reports on the plain bottled water and water plus segments, as well as one report for the entire water category.
Zenith International chairman Richard Hall said: “This is a tremendous achievement by the industry, making sales 100 times higher than in 1980. Yet the average in Europe and America is above 100 litres per person, so there is every prospect of continuing strong growth.”
Among other findings from the reports are that still water drinks were responsible for 83% of volume in 2015, with sparkling water drinks accounting for the remaining 17%.
Plain bottled water accounted for 85% of total consumption, with flavoured and functional waters on 13% and juicy waters on 2%.
The top five plain water brands by volume were Evian, Highland Spring, Buxton, Volvic and Nestlé Pure Life; while the top five water plus brands by volume were Volvic Touch of Fruit, Calypso Clear, Trederwen Essence, Drench Juicy and Volvic Juiced.
Zenith forecasts that, by 2020, the plain water market will reach in excess of 4bn litres and the total water drinks market will stand at volume sales of almost 4.8bn litres.
Kinvara Carey, general manager of the Natural Hydration Council, said: “The new data from Zenith showing an increase in consumption of plain water is good to see as it is one of the healthiest ways to hydrate with no calories or sugar. Over 90% of bottled water sold in the UK is naturally sourced, with many high quality mineral and spring waters to choose from. There are still more than 30m people who do not drink water at home in a typical week; that’s half the UK population, so encouraging plain water consumption – whether bottled still or sparkling or from the tap – should be encouraged.”
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