UK consumption of water drinks rose 7 % in 2017 to nearly 4,000 million litres, with a retail value of £3.1 billion, according to a new report from global food and drink experts Zenith.
Sales of plain bottled water in retail packs increased by 8 % to over 3,100 million litres, while volume through bottled water coolers grew a more modest 2 % to 310 million litres. This marks a slowdown in growth from the preceding four years, partly as a result of poor summer weather. Conversely, sales of flavoured, functional and juicy waters, which increased by 2 % in 2016, advanced by 5 % in 2017, after more strong branded players entered the market.
Plain bottled water, with average annual consumption of 54 litres per person, strengthened its market dominance in 2017 to account for 87% of total sales. Flavoured water’s share of the market fell to 11 % volume share, with juicy and functional water making up the remaining 2 %. In terms of water types, still water drinks accounted for 83 % of total volume in 2017, with sparkling water drinks contributing 17 %.
The top 5 UK plain water brands – Highland Spring, Evian, Buxton, Nestlé Pure Life and Volvic – are collectively responsible for 30 % of total water drinks sales, whilst the top 5 water plus brands – Volvic Touch of Fruit, Calypso Clear, Trederwen Essence, Drench Juicy and Perfectly Clear – account for 5 %.
Zenith forecasts that, by 2022, the total market for UK water drinks will reach 5.3 billion litres, 32 % above 2017 levels. Plain bottled water is set to lead this advance, with average growth of 6 % per year. Flavoured, functional and juicy waters are forecast to expand more slowly.