In 2012, private label products in the United States bottled water market held a 23% off-trade value share and a 31% off-trade volume share of bottled water. Nestlé Waters America led in branded products, with a 20% off-trade value and a 22% off-trade volume share of bottled water. The company?s emphasis on regional brands, limiting its focus for particular brands to particular regions, insulates it from losses in any one brand at a time. The marketing of these regional brands emphasises the fact that water is naturally healthy, with phrases such as "Water – life?s original ingredient".
Regional brands also benefit from cause-based marketing efforts, such as the promotion of a social cause relevant to the region and community. There is also increased focus on the heritage or the source of water, especially for premium brands. Nestlé Pure Life, which has national distribution, has benefited from consumers trading down because it is available at a low price point and consumers trust the Nestlé company name behind it, as opposed to a private label product. However, private label continues to take share, as more and more retailers are capitalising on consumers who do not have a preference when it comes to still bottled water. As such, Nestlé Pure Life?s share decline slightly to have 7% of off-trade volume share and 6% of value in 2012.
Functional or enhanced water entered new functional avenues, such as relaxation, mental alertness and beauty in 2012. A line of products called Neuro was launched in 2012 and saw widespread distribution. Featured brands included Neuro Sonic (increases energy and concentration), Neuro Sleep (aids restful sleep), Neuro Sun (fortified with vitamin D to help against harmful UV rays from the sun), Neuro Bliss (relaxation beverage), Neuro Sport (added electrolytes) and Neuro Trim (added fibre to help weight loss). These products represented the growing trend of consumers seeking functional beverages.
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