U.S. Still Has Need for Bottled Water, IBWA Says

Buoyed by some major liquid refreshment beverage trademarks, bottled water is the second largest beverage type in the U.S. market and for many years also ranked as the category with the most forceful growth.

Only carbonated soft drinks have greater volume, but they have been declining.

A detailed analysis of the 2008 bottled water market based on Beverage Marketing data appears in a recent edition of Bottled Water Reporter, a publication of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA). New York City–based Beverage Marketing Corporation is the leading research, consulting and financial services firm dedicated to the global beverage industry.

The largest bottled water company, Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA), experienced stronger than average growth and enlarged its market share in 2008. The company's share of bottled water volume advanced from less than 30 percent in 2006 to almost 33 percent two years later. DS Waters Enterprises, the second largest bottled water company in terms of volume, also outperformed the overall bottled water marketplace in 2008, as did Crystal Geyser.

The leading companies — NWNA, Pepsi, Coca–Cola (with its Dasani brand as well as the Danone brands it markets), DS Waters and Crystal Geyser — accounted for almost 60 percent of volume and more than 70 percent of wholesale dollars in 2008.

Rapid volume growth characterized bottled water for most of the current decade, as chronicled in the latest edition of Beverage Marketing Corporation's comprehensive Bottled Water in the U.S. report. Bottled water volume achieved double–digit percentage growth rates in two years and advanced at rates close to that level in several others. For example, bottled water volume grew by 10.8% in 2005 and then enlarged by 9.5 percent the following year.

Domestic non-sparkling water, the largest part of the U.S. packaged water industry, consistently outperforms other segments. Domestic non-sparkling water's 8.4 billion gallons represented 96 percent of total volume in 2008. The retail premium PET segment — consisting of still water in single–serve polyethylene terephthalate bottles — continued to drive the overall category's development.

While total bottled water volume did not realize growth in 2008, its 1.0 percent dip reflected forces affecting the beverage marketplace generally and did not suggest the start of an ongoing diminishment in demand for bottled water.

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