The water crisis caused by the ongoing drought and water-borne disease will continue to boost demand for still bottled water. During the review period, local consumers were alarmed by microplastics found in tap water in Gauteng and the North West provinces.
Niche audiences will continue to be targeted by smaller players as competition intensifies and profit margins are squeezed. Hence, supplying water to hospitality and travel industries might become a more reliable strategy for new entrants, as such businesses increasingly offer bottled water with their own private label offerings.
With the sugar tax coming into effect and consumers becoming increasingly aware of beverage content, carbonated and flavoured bottled water are expected to be preferred by health-conscious consumers. Another factor contributing to the move will be attributed to the affordability of those products, with flavoured bottled water increasingly seen as a perfect hybrid between juice and carbonates.
The most concerning news in 2018 was the water crisis in the Western Cape which was declared a national disaster during the first quarter of the year. As the drought intensified and dam levels decreased to a critical level, the local municipality initially imposed a series of water restrictions.
Normandien Farms (Pty) Ltd strategically created greater awareness for its brand Thirsti during the review period. Formerly concentrated in several provinces, the company targeted millennials with an urban lifestyle.
In 2018, Ekhamanzi Springs continued to gain momentum with its label AQuelle. Initially focussing on affordability, the brand has become a mainstream product attracting all social classes.
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