As different lockdown levels and measures were still enforced in South Africa throughout 2021, although not on the same level as witnessed in 2020, consumers have continued to spend most of their working week at home. Overall, bottled water has continued to experience demand due to further stockpiling.
While most established bottled water brands such as Valpre and Bonaqua have maintained their positions and shares, one player has been heavily impacted by negative press coverage, namely AQuelle (Ekhamanzi Springs (Pty) Ltd). This major brand experienced a decline in sales in carbonated spring bottled water, while in the categories that it leads in off-trade volume terms, namely sparkling flavoured bottled water and still spring bottled water, it is set to experience much lower growth in 2021 compared to previous years in addition to loss of share.
As bottled water has continued to benefit from stockpiling by South Africans, this influenced further strong off-trade volume growth due to home consumption. However, demand through on-trade has continued to suffer further blows as fewer consumers visited cafés, restaurants and bars compared to pre-lockdown.
Stockpiling continued in 2021, driving up off-trade demand, although reduced lockdown measures means that a return to on-trade is likely to occur more quickly than anticipated heading into 2022. The forecast period is therefore likely to be more positive, with still spring bottled water and still purified bottled water expected to lead growth, mainly based on affordable unit prices and strong competition between brands that means that low unit prices will be maintained.
As witnessed in several packaged food and beverage categories, increased competition between private label and leading brands has increased towards the end of the review period. As bottled water is a unique category in the sense that there are no exclusive flavour options between brands, except for carbonated versus still, increasing competition is likely to emerge in terms of bottle sizes.
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This category is the aggregation of still bottled water (spring, mineral & purified), carbonated bottled water (spring, mineral & purified), flavoured bottled water and functional bottled water. Bulk bottled water is split out separately. It is defined as packaged drinking water – purified, spring or mineral – that is packaged in a container of 8 litres or larger. The bulk bottled water data types apply to Still Bottled Water and Carbonated Bottled Water but do not apply to functional or flavoured bottled water. Bulk water is classified according to the new Bulk retail volume and Bulk retail value data type regardless of channel of sale: bulk water sold via retail locations and bulk water delivered direct to a consumer’s home is included. Bulk water sold to institutions (offices, schools etc.) remains excluded.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Bottled Water research and analysis database.
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