Bottled water has become largest within the soft drinks industry in terms of off-trade volume sales as carbonates continually loses consumers as they flee towards healthier options. As a result of consumers’ search for less sugary beverages, bottled water has evolved in the US, going from a product that used to be enjoyed on limited occasions to one that is consumed throughout the day on a variety of occasions.
Flavoured bottled water has evolved into one of the most dynamic categories within soft drinks thanks to the popularity of products like La Croix and private label sparkling flavoured waters. Once composed of niche products, explosive growth has seen flavoured bottled water become a significant component of overall bottled water sales.
Bulk water, or bottled water sold in formats of eight litres or larger, made consistent gains in volume terms over the review period, appealing to consumers who appreciate the convenience of having large amounts of bottled water at home as well as those who do not like the water provided via their municipal source. One of the most significant limiting factors for bulk water is the strong preference among US consumers for access to single-serve plastic bottles that they can drink either at home or on the go.
Americans look to bottled water for hydration throughout the day. Although there is increased interest in premium water, the omnipresent interest in water translates to success for private label as well.
In February 2018, Cott Corp purchased Crystal Rock, a company which specialises in the delivery of larger-format bottled water to offices and homes, especially in the northeast US. The move strengthens Cott’s position within the water delivery business and is attracting consumer interest in having large formats at home (especially those living in rural areas) as well as in offices for workers who look to bottled water to hydrate themselves throughout the day.
American consumers are increasingly interested in premium spring water brands that emphasise their source. Both the Evian and Fiji brands showed strong growth in the review period thanks to a positioning that differentiates them from other brands which do not prominently display their place of origin.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Soft Drinks market research database.