The first ever report on premium bottled water, by specialist consultancy Zenith International, estimates that global sales rose from 9.4 billion litres in 2009 to 9.5 billion litres in 2010. This represents 6.3% of all bottled water consumption in pack sizes up to 10 litres.
“Premium bottled water is important because most water is very local and is sold at relatively low prices,” comments Zenith senior consultant Karen Wells. “Adding a premium through a unique story, great design, powerful branding and communication that builds consumer loyalty can make all the difference to the success of a business.”
Zenith defines premium primarily based on a brand’s price and positioning within the market. There are also several different layers of premium, ranging from premium private label through everyday premium and super premium to ultra premium.
With differing dynamics in each country, Zenith’s new report highlights three markets – China, Germany and the United States. The US premium market is dominated by imports such as Fiji and Evian. In Germany the segment is substantial, led by Gerolsteiner, but fragmented.
China now has one of the fastest growing premium sectors worldwide, with a combination of local and imported brands. The key leading premium brands worldwide include Evian, Perrier, San Pellegrino, Vittel and Volvic.
After a slowdown in growth for premium bottled water under the recent combination of economic pressures and environmental concerns, Zenith forecasts continued expansion for premium waters.
“The best companies have improved their environmental credentials and the newly emerging middle classes in young economies with strong growth should provide renewed impetus for premium waters around the world,” Karen Wells concludes.