Bottled water will register dynamic sales growth in 2021, although growth rates slowed down in comparison with the first year of the pandemic. The main reasons for the category’s positive performance during the year were the warm summer weather and the positive impact of social distancing and home seclusion.
Although 2021 will see a deceleration in on-trade volume growth in bottled water, growth rates remained positive as this channel also benefitted from the heatwave in early summer. Consumers continued to purchase these products to stay hydrated in the heat and to maintain good health in case they need to fight off the COVID-19 virus.
Whilst 2020 proved a challenging year for the two leading players, namely Société des Stations Thermales et des Eaus Minérales and Société d'exploitation des Eaux Minerales, sales growth accelerated again in 2021. However, both companies will continue to lose value share as the overall category registered dynamic sales growth.
The forecast period is expected to see sales of bottled water continue to increase at a steady and robust rate in both the off-trade and on-trade channels. The main factor supporting growth is the category’s essential status -many consumers are increasingly reluctant to drink tap or well water due to concerns over potential quality or contamination.
One of the most interesting trends to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic was the major shift towards e-commerce in the retailing of a wide range of FMCG industries. Whilst not particularly strong in most soft drinks categories, bottled water did benefit from this shift with the channel gaining notable sales during the first year of the pandemic.
The economic pressures created the COVID-19 pandemic forced many of the leading players in soft drinks to adopt new strategies to ensure their products remained affordable to the mass consumer base. Previously, most bottled water brands focused mainly on 500ml PET bottles, and this has long been an important pack size in the category.
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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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