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Consumption of bottled water in UK up 8.2% last year

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Whilst the government has set its sights on reducing people’s sugar intake from soft drinks, new data shows that more consumers are already switching to healthier alternatives.

According to a report by Zenith International, UK consumption of all water drinks rose 8.2% in 2015 to 3,299 million litres, with a retail value in excess of £2.5bn. Volumes have more than doubled over the past 15 years and consumption per person now stands at 51.7 litres a year, with plain water at 44.1 litres and water plus at 7.6 litres. 

“This is a tremendous achievement by the industry, making sales 100 times higher than in 1980,” commented Zenith Chairman Richard Hall. “Yet the average in Europe and America is above 100 litres per person, so there is every prospect of continuing strong growth.” 

In 2015, plain water sales in retail pack sizes jumped by 9.1% to 2,517 million litres. Water cooler sales advanced 5% to 296 million litres. Flavoured, functional and juicy water plus drinks increased 5.7% to 486 million litres. 

Other findings from Zenith’s three separate reports on the water market include:

  • Still water drinks were responsible for 83% of 2015 volume and sparkling water drinks 17%.
  • Plain bottled water accounted for 85% of total consumption, flavoured and functional waters 13% and juicy waters 2%.
  • The top 5 plain water brands by volume were Evian, Highland Spring, Buxton, Volvic and Nestlé Pure Life.
  • The top 5 water plus brands by volume were Volvic Touch of Fruit, Calypso Clear, Trederwen Essence, Drench Juicy and Volvic Juiced.

“The new data from Zenith showing an increase in consumption of plain water is good to see as it is one of the healthiest ways to hydrate with no calories or sugar. Over 90% of bottled water sold in the UK is naturally sourced, with many high quality mineral and spring waters to choose from.  There are still more than 30 million people who do not drink water at home in a typical week; that’s half the UK population, so encouraging plain water consumption - whether bottled still or sparkling or from the tap, should be encouraged,” commented Natural Hydration Council General Manager Kinvara Carey.
Zenith forecasts that, by 2020, the plain water market will reach in excess of 4,000 million litres and the total water drinks market will stand at almost 4,800 million litres.

Download Zenith’s Water Consumption and Drinks Share charts here


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