After a pronounced slowdown in growth during the 2007-2009 recession years, bottled water sales bounced back in 2010 on a global scale, and are expected to contribute the greater share of overall soft drinks growth through 2015. This report analyses the largest global soft drinks category by volume, identifying regional and category differences, and highlighting the challenges faced and opportunities ahead for bottled water manufacturers in a post-recession economy.
Source: Euromonitor International
Key trends discussed include:
Bottled water is a volume driven category
Total volume sales surpassed carbonates for the overall lead in soft drinks in 2010, but unit prices remain low and private label competition is a growing threat in developed markets.
A shift to Asia Pacific markets is underway
Western European volume sales fell behind Asia Pacific for the first time in 2010. The region is led by growth in China and India, while developed markets in North America and Western Europe are beginning to see saturation.
Environmental concerns remain in the background
A rebound in 2010 volume sales seems to indicate that consumers will not stay away from the category, but environmentally-friendly packaging will be one of the industry’s core challenges in the future.
Functional water loses some lustre
High price points finally caught up with functional waters during the recent recession, and the years of double digit growth are behind us. Communicating the functional message will be more important than ever.
Global market remains fragmented
A handful of multinational brands have found success, particularly at a regional level, but local players still command the most attention from consumers overall.
Fight for shelf space against traditional soft drinks
Carbonates still enjoy the prime positioning on store shelves, while smaller but higher profit categories like energy drinks and RTD tea threaten to displace bottled water.
Supermarkets beginning to give way to smaller retailers
More than a third of all bottled water purchases are from supermarkets/hypermarkets, but growth is increasingly coming from non-traditional outlets. Expansion into new channels will play a greater role in future category performance.