Bottled Water Tables Rise

U.S. bottled water sales and consumption continue to rise, as consumers increasingly choose bottled water over other commercial beverages. This upward trend is reflected by sales for 2004 with bottled water volume of nearly 6.8 billion gallons, an 8.6 percent increase over 2003, and a 2004 bottled water per capita consumption level of 23.8 gallons, compared to 22.1 gallons per capita the previous year, reports the International Bottled Water Association.
Bolstering this sentiment, sales of bottled water continue to be robust for the year ending in June. Bottled water sales in the United States are up 15.9 percent, reaching nearly $2.6 billion in food, drug and mass merchandising outlets, excluding Wal-Mart, according to Information Resources Inc.
PepsiCo’s Aquafina brand still floats atop the category with more than $380.6 million in sales, up less than a percent from this time last year. Private label still sits solidly in the No. 2 spot with nearly $338.3 million in sales, an increase of 23.7 percent from a year ago.
The strength of private label sales demonstrates that consumers drink bottled water for its perceived purity and healthfulness. Brand loyalty is secondary and consequently, price sensitive. Private label is reaping the benefits, especially in convenience-size bottles.
The water category is expanding with the help of flavored waters. Lightly sweetened, flavored waters are striking a chord with consumers. Coca-Cola North America entered into flavored water beverages with Dasani Lemon and Dasani Raspberry flavors in February. The two new flavors are available in 20-ounce plastic bottles and six-packs of 500 ml. bottles. Propel Fitness Water, PepsiCo’s Gatorade spin-off, added a Melon flavor this year, bringing the product line to eight flavors: Berry, Black Cherry, Grape, Kiwi-Strawberry, Lemon, Peach and Tropical Citrus. Propel is based on Gatorade’s hydration expertise, specifically developed to address the hydration needs of active people who typically drink plain water during their workouts.
Also a contender in the sports drink category, Powerade released Powerade Option, available in Strawberry, Black Cherry and Lemon flavors as an alternative for anyone seeking hydration. The new line provides electrolytes and B vitamins at levels comparable to regular Powerade, but with fewer carbohydrates and calories.
Glaceau, Whitestone, N.Y., launched Glaceau Vitaminwater Perform, a lemon-lime-flavored nutrient-enhanced bottled water with calcium, magnesium and potassium. Vitaminwater finds its niche as a natural, low-calorie, nutrient-enhanced water line that offers the same electrolyte power as sports drinks without the addition of sodium.
Reaching for its own customer base, Triple A Products LLC, Lake Success, N.Y., launched VitaZest Vitamin & Fruit Enriched Water as a new alternative in specialized water drinks. VitaZest has no carbs, calories, sugar or caffeine. Each bottle contains 10 essential vitamins and minerals, with up to 125 percent vitamin C in some flavors.
The enriched water comes in eight flavors, and Triple A Products hopes the line’s natural colors and natural fruit flavors appeal to health-conscious consumers. BI
Global bottled water sales
(millionS of dollars)
Subsector 2004 Forecast
Bottled water $108,470.7 $116,067.8
Still bottled water $73,958.5 $79,614.9
Carbonated bottled water $28,438.9 $29,640.8
Flavored bottled water $3,075.9 $3,394.2
Functional bottled water $2,997.4 $3,417.9
Source: Euromonitor International, 2005
Top bottled waters by brand
Brand Dollar
% Change Vs. Prior Year Market Share % Change Vs. Prior Year
Aquafina $380,607,300 0.6 14.9 -2.3
Private Label $338,280,300 23.7 13.2 0.8
Dasani $300,771,400 9.4 11.8 -0.7
Poland Spring $173,789,200 21.4 6.8 0.3
Propel $152,672,400 40.1 6.0 1.0
Dannon $141,961,800 32.4 5.6 0.7
Arrowhead $128,542,400 12.3 5.0 -0.2
Deer Park $92,309,660 19.7 3.6 0.1
Crystal Geyser $85,506,730 13.4 3.3 -0.1
Evian $75,690,460 -0.1 3.0 -0.5
Category Total $2,554,937,000 15.9    
Source: Information Resources Inc., Total food, drug and mass merchandise (excluding Wal-Mart) for the 52 weeks ending June 12, 2005