BOTTLED WATER BACK TO GROWTH IN BRITAIN
Earlier than predicted, the British bottled water market has returned to growth this year. Volumes are up by an estimated 5% for the nine months to September and growth for the full year should reach 3% or more. These figures were presented by my colleague Charles Phillips, Zenith’s Chief Operating Officer, at the annual UK bottled water industry conference yesterday. During the conference, I asked for the views of three leading industry Managing Directors and here they are. Highland Spring Ltd Chief Executive Officer Les Montgomery: “Following the challenges of the last two years including the weather, economy and questions on the environmental credentials of bottled water, we are pleased to see the market, once again, return to growth. “We are highly confident about the future of the market and particularly our business. Our performance has been extremely robust and again ahead of the market. We are on track to achieve our highest ever brand share by the year end.” Nestlé Waters UK Ltd Managing Director Paolo Sangiorgi: “We have the confidence of maintaining sustainable growth and providing one of the healthiest choices on the shelf. We see a positive future, with a recovering market and stronger brands which deliver real value to the consumer despite the tough economic environment.” Danone Waters (UK & Ireland) Ltd Managing Director Nick Krzyzaniak: “After two very challenging years, mainly driven by bad weather and a weaker economy, the UK bottled water market has returned to growth. “This is great news. It means our message that water is the healthiest and most natural way to hydrate and the most environmentally responsible beverage on the retailer’s shelf is reaching our consumers. Communicating the health and social responsibility benefits of our products is an essential part of our business model and will provide the platform for future growth of our category as more British consumers find reason to believe in bottled water.” My own take on it is that the economic downturn and better weather probably cancelled each other out, leaving bottled water to resume its natural 5% growth momentum. Most people feel better when well hydrated and almost all of us would benefit by drinking an extra glass. Those who stop to look at the facts will find that bottled water is friendlier to the environment than all other packaged beverages and that it actually competes against them rather than tap water. Shouldn’t you oughta drink more water ?