Capping a decades-long streak of vigorous growth, bottled water achieved a major milestone in 2016, when it surpassed carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) to become the largest beverage category by volume in the United States, according to New York-based Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC). Total bottled water volume grew from 11.8 billion gallons in 2015 to 12.8 billion gallons in 2016, an increase of nearly 9 percent, which marked the third year of accelerated growth, the market research firm says.
As the bottled water market has ridden a high tide of success in the past several years, many players in the market have experienced likened success. Founded in 2001, New York-based Voss Water of Norway established itself as an ultra-premium bottled water brand that was exclusively offered in high-end on-premise accounts.
In January 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) released the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines. The eighth edition of this report highlighted the importance of following a healthy eating plan that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods as well as limiting calories from components such as added sugars, saturated fats and reducing sodium intake.
Comprising 46 percent of the retail share, traditional supermarkets remain the largest channel in the retail food industry; however, Jon Hauptman, senior director of retail at Long Grove, Ill.-based Willard Bishop Co., an Inmar analytics company, notes that dollar sales in the channel have been flat as more consumers shop at supercenters, fresh-format stores, dollar stores and online.
Spindrift unveiled new packaging for its self-titled beverages. “We were the first to directly challenge the market with fresh ingredients and with so much evolution in the category, it is now more important than ever to communicate our unique use of real fruit in our package design,” Spindrift Chief Executive Officer and Founder Bill Creelman said in a statement.
As health and wellness gains more attention from consumers, some food and beverage categories have faced new challenges. However, the bottled water market is one beverage category that has benefited from the increased prevalence of better-for-you products as more consumers strive to lead healthier lives.
It used to be that you could walk into any liquor store and, based on price and appearance, be able to quickly discern the premium players from the standard players. The codes of premium were well-established in packaging design — embellished glass, tall bottles, elaborate closures and applied-color instead of paper labels. These visual cues established an aspirational image for many brands that warranted a higher price point — and consumers bought it.