An Overview of the Bottled Water Industry

August 30, 2022
Water Bottles

The demand for the bottled beverage has surpassed tap water consumption, as more Americans take to drinking the fresh, safe water in more sanitary containers than straight from the tap. 

While tap water costs less than bottled water, the sanitary conditions and potability of the latter gives it a competitive edge, most particularly in restaurants and businesses where bottled water is deemed the safer choice of the two. 

Other bottled water statistics have been compiled by the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), which shows the bottled water consumption rates of U.S. markets, as well as the market dynamics of bottled water production. Read on below to find out how the industry is faring in this competitive landscape.

An Overview of the Bottled Water Industry

Ranked 5th in Largest Beverage Category in the U.S.

According to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), bottled water consumption has been steady over the past few years. Bottled water continues to top U.S. charts as it takes the 5th spot in the largest beverage category by volume in 2020, with 15B gallons consumed - a 4.2% increase from 2019.

Bottled water continues to widen its gap in market consumption compared to carbonated soft drinks as more Americans are taking the healthy route and opting for water instead of sugary soft drinks for hydration. 

Consistent Growth in the Bottled Water Market

The industry continues to grow year-on-year since 1977, apart from a few hurdles brought about by the 2008 and 2009 financial crises. The year 2016 saw the biggest leap in industry growth for bottled water, at around 8% for that year. 

According to data compiled by the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC), the bottled beverage grew in volume by approximately 4%: from 13.8B gallons to 14.4B gallons in 2018 and 2019, respectively. The continued growth of the market shows opportunities for bottled water companies and bottled water manufacturers. 

Across different categories, packaging materials used to make water bottles have grown exponentially since the introduction of plastic water bottles, with more bottled water companies opting for unique or sustainable options. Aluminum, recycled plastic, and glass bottles are among the materials used in sustainable packaging.

Ranked 1st in Consumption

Single-serve plastic bottles took up the majority of sales, with bottled water at a 45 gallon per capita consumption rate overall. In comparison to soft drinks, which has a 35 gallon per capita consumption rate, bottled water continues to rank #1 in consumption of beverages. 

Bottled Water by Country

As seen in the chart, China leads the consumption of bottled water with a 6.3% CAGR, followed by the United States at 5.4%. India may show a CAGR of 6.9%, but has a 124.95% difference from the consumption total of China. 

Despite being in the top 10, Germany showed a negative CAGR of -1.5%, but continues to top ranks in countries that consume bottled water the most. Only China, U.S., Mexico, Indonesia, and India presented a CAGR higher than the world total of 4.2%

Bottled Water Category Developments

In terms of mineral water versus sparkling water versus flavored water, the former had the greatest pull in drinking water consumption, with many consumers believing mineral water has additional benefits compared to purified water or tap water. 

However, other categories are also increasing in consumption, as with the case of sparkling water that has seen a double-digit growth rate for the past seven years. Based on historical data, we can conclude that carbonated water has a newfound appreciation from consumers, as the water category continues to expand. 

The Current Trends Driving the Bottled Water Industry

Factors driving the Bottled Water Industry

Current factors driving the industry include sustainable sourcing of spring water, artesian water like electrolyte and flavored waters, and the decrease of the environmental impact in plastic bottles as well as the bottling facilities operations. 

Majority of the current trends revolve around sustainability, with major players in the industry looking for sustainable solutions to the plastic bottle problem. Coca-cola, with their water brand Dasani, has pledged to use less water in their production, as well as provide clean water to impoverished towns near their facilities.

Other trends include adding flavors in water, which gets consumers to hydrate more with a refreshing taste of citrus, fruity, or floral notes without the calories. In skipping sugary juices, consumers are opting for water with flavors like lemon, orange, and strawberry, though other avant-garde flavors also exist like coffee beans.

Brands Leading the Bottled Water Industry

Despite its reputation, Dasani is one of the top brands for bottled water. Owned and operated by the Coca-Cola Company, Dasani plans to move towards the sustainable route, and bottle water in aluminum cans and aluminum bottles in efforts to combat climate change. 

Aquafina is another leading brand of bottled water, a subsidiary of competitor PepsiCo. Aquafina currently holds the top spot of sales by volume, with a 13.4% market share in the industry. Their wide variety of flavored and unflavored water gives them the competitive edge over other brands.

Other leading brands include Fiji Water, SmartWater, and high-end brand Evian. These brands are considered the top retail water brands in North America, which have reached international standards as they spread across countries in South America, Asia, Europe, and more.

Customization in the Bottled Water Industry

Most retail bottled waters don't provide the same customization that specialty stores do. Specialty stores have customized labels, as well as customized water content based on the client's preferences. Clients can choose from a wide variety of water types from spring to mineral, and even electrolyte water for their homes and businesses.

My Own Water is a leading specialty bottled water production company that provides high-quality drinking water in fully-customizable containers. Whether you prefer aluminum or plastic, we have bottles that will fit well with your home or business! Give us a call today for more information.

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