Bottled Water: Finding the Profit Amidst the Volume

Strategy Briefing

About This Report

Sep 2013

While bottled water continues to enjoy staggering volume sales globally, with consumers the world over continuing to pay a premium for convenience and (especially in emerging markets) health, margins are becoming razor thin in many key markets. Fierce competition from local players, coupled with the rise of low-cost bulk and private label water, has put renewed pressure on the global giants. Though the potential remains considerable, the road ahead is uncertain indeed.

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Bottled Water: Finding the Profit Amidst the Volume

What this report includes

  • Top-level strategic analysis of how major consumer trends will influence global markets
  • Consumer insight
  • Impact across all relevant consumer markets
  • Unique graphics and case studies
  • Key market snapshots
  • Accompanying presentation to synthesise main findings

Why buy this report

  • Identify factors driving change now and in the future
  • Understand motivation
  • Forward-looking outlook
  • Briefings and presentation should provoke lively discussion at senior level
  • Take a step back from micro trends
  • Get up to date estimates and comment


Key findings

Global Performance

Bottled water remains large segment of soft drink consumption
2012 unit price underscores difference in positioning
Packaging paints the picture
Emerging markets drive growth
Volume and value increase with expansion of distribution
Still bottled water leads but other categories growing

Global performance

Global summary

Category Analysis

Still dominates, but potential for value growth in other categories
Emerging markets become more important for still bottled water
Asia Pacific largest region, but volume/value disparity instructive
Commodification of still bottled water drives emerging markets
Historic value growth demonstrates importance of penetration
Safety positioning has little role in developed markets, eg US
Case study: China’s value grows with mid and high tier brands
Manufacturers bring commodity water to remote areas
Premium still bottled water presents best path for value growth
Brands add value in premium categories
Growing volume and value for still bottled water
Adding value: The enhancement of bottled water
Enhanced waters across regions
Carbonated bottled water losing some of its fizz
US consumers turn to carbonated water
Latin America spearheads flavoured bottled water
Variety of flavours gives edge to flavoured water in Argentina
Functional bottled water capitalises on energy drinks’ success
Functional water capitalises on energy drink growth
Each category has strong ties to regional influences

Competitive Landscape

Bottled water company dominance varies from market to market
A handful of major global companies at the top…
…But significant fragmentation among the top brands
Private label plays a large role in developed markets
Global carbonated water also fragmented
A fragmented market

Global Prospects

Growth to continue over next five years
Enhanced water growth remains regional
Top five growth markets feature strong local players
Bringing it all together

Report Definitions

Data parameters and report definitions