Sunday 26 May 2024
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Global mineral water market growing at accelerated pace, says report

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TME - Cialdy Evo

MILAN, Italy — Italians love their mineral water. The sector has been getting bigger since 1980 (although growth came to a halt in 2009-10 and fell slightly in 2013), increasing almost fivefold from 47 litres per capita to 224 litres in 2017.

The data are supplied by Mineracqua, the category association that brings together producers in the industry. They provide a snapshot of continued growth in 2017: 13,450 million litres (up 6.3% from 12,650 in 2016), with revenues totalling 3 billion euros (+7.1%).

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The unrivalled queen remains natural still water (accounting for 69% of sales), although natural sparkling water is growing, to the detriment of carbonated water, which fell from 17% to 16%.

Exports also performed well: out of a total production of 14,800 million litres these account for 1,350 million litres, or just over 10%.


As for sales channels, the bulk of all sales is through the large-scale retail trade (hypermarkets, supermarkets, mini-markets and discount stores), which account for 70% of sales (as against 69% in 2016), with smaller high-street shops and door-to-door sales down at 9%, and and vending machine sales stable at 21%.

The appeal of bottled water is increasing also in the rest of the world, and demand has risen in the last ten years because of food safety requirements and the pursuit of wellbeing.

But the market has also been subject to legal scrutiny, particularly in EU countries, because of concerns over the use of disposable plastic. There is greater commitment now among manufacturers to reduce the amount of plastic used in packaging to make it more environmentally firendly.

Market consultancy specialist Transparency Market Research estimates that by the end of 2024 global demand will have reached 528.2 billion litres of bottled water, generating a total income of 307.2 billion dollars. In 2017 the global bottled water market was worth 198.5 billion dollars.

Bottled still water, which in 2017 was worth 156 billion dollars, will continue to dominate between now and 2024.

The fastest-growing market for bottled water is the Asia-Pacific region, led by China and India: this area accounts for one third of total demand, thanks mainly to large numbers of young consumers and rapid urbanisation.

According to Mintel, per capita consumption of bottled water in China rose from 5 litres a year in 2007 to 20 litres in 2017, with 25 billion litres consumed in 2015.

Europe is the second largest market, with a share of 28%. North America is a saturated market with constant demand and the highest per capita consumption of bottled water. The US bottled water market reached an all-time high in 2015, when the volume consumed was in excess of 44.2 billion litres.

The world’s largest exporter of mineral water is France, followed by Italy, with Belgium following some way behind.


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