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US bottled water market dominated by private label products

Press Release   •   Jul 30, 2013 11:43 BST

In 2012 the US bottled water market was dominated by private label products, holding 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.

Glacéau's VitaminWater, acquired by Coca-Cola Co in 2007, continues to lead in off-trade value terms, with a share of 11% in 2012. VitaminWater maintained the top position in value terms among branded bottled waters as its customer base is willing to pay a higher price than for other waters and other beverage types for the added vitamins and health benefits.

According to a recent report, 'Bottled Water in the US,' concerns over high sugar and high calorie content drive declines in total volume and value of flavoured water in 2012, but interest in functionality leads to growth in functional water of 5% in value and 6% in volume.

Functional bottled water continued to rebound in off-trade value sales in 2012. After declining by 9% in 2010, off-trade value increased by 13% in 2011 and 6% in 2012.

The leading brand in functional bottled water, VitaminWater, was sued by the Center for Science in the Public Interest in 2010 for having a misleading name. The product contained a high amount of sugar and calories, and was thus scrutinised strongly by Americans who initially thought of the beverage as a healthy alternative to carbonates.

Despite this struggle between 2009 and 2010, functional bottled water was the fastest growing category, in terms of both off-trade volume compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and off-trade value CAGR.

In heavy bottled water consuming countries, such as the US, functional bottled water is a less costly alternative than in other countries. Functional waters offer a means for manufacturers to expand their child-oriented product lines.

Functional or enhanced water also 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).

For more information on the US bottled water market, see the latest research: US Bottled Water Market

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