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UK Bottled Water market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Bottled Water market, its consumers and the major players who make up the market.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

  • What are the key challenges facing the industry?
  • Who is the consumer and what do they want?
  • Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Market

Point of sale market data

In conjunction with IRi, extensive point of sale data shows you what consumers are spending their money on

Market Size

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Covered in this report

This report covers sales of bottled water. This includes:

  • Unflavoured water
  • Flavoured waters and fortified waters which see mineral water enhanced with natural flavours, herbs, vitamins and/or sweeteners
  • Still water as well as carbonated water, also known as sparkling water, which is made by dissolving carbon dioxide into the water through a process of carbonation

Market size data includes sales through the following outlets:

  • Retail: This includes sales through retail outlets where bottled water is purchased for the purpose of in-home consumption or for drinking on the go, comprising supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol forecourts, among others
  • On-premise: This includes anywhere where bottled water is bought to consume on-site, eg pubs, bars and clubs, leisure centres, hotels, restaurants, cafés, education establishments and workplaces

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Richard Caines, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Out-of-home consumption underpins much of the usage of bottled water, but the market is at risk from people opting more for filling bottles with tap water. Efforts to reduce sugar have helped sales of bottled water, but concerns about plastic waste could dampen future growth.Richard Caines
Senior Food & Drink Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Sales of bottled water continue to grow strongly
              • Uncertainties ahead for bottled water
                • Figure 1: Forecast of UK value sales of bottled water, 2013-23
              • Unflavoured still water accounts for two thirds of value retail sales
                • Sugar concerns lead shift away from sugary drinks
                  • Consumers are concerned about plastic waste
                    • Threat to bottled water from usage of reusable bottles
                      • Companies and brands
                        • Highland Spring and Volvic outperform the market
                          • Nestlé Pure Life and Rubicon Spring also perform strongly
                            • Figure 2: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK bottled water retail market, by value, 2017/18*
                          • Majority of new launches come from flavoured waters
                            • L/N/R sugar claims feature on nine in ten flavoured water launches
                              • Functional health claims hope to add differentiation
                                • Brands focusing on more sustainable packaging
                                  • Water in cans increasing from small base
                                    • Big bottled water brands lack differentiation
                                      • The consumer
                                        • Three quarters of adults drink bottled water
                                          • Figure 3: Frequency of drinking bottled water, by type, December 2018
                                        • Nearly a third of adults use water filter products
                                          • Best option out of home a reason for drinking for more than a third
                                            • Being seen as healthier than other drinks also drives usage
                                              • Figure 4: Reasons for drinking bottled water, December 2018
                                            • Efforts to reduce sugar are helping bottled water
                                              • Bottled water at risk from people opting more for tap water
                                                • Consumers need convincing on functional claims
                                                  • Figure 5: Behaviours relating to bottled water, December 2018
                                                • Concern around plastic is a major issue for industry
                                                  • Source of water and purity is important
                                                    • Figure 6: Attitudes towards bottled water, December 2018
                                                  • What we think
                                                  • Issues and Insights

                                                    • Plastic packaging waste concerns are a major issue for industry
                                                      • The facts
                                                        • The implications
                                                          • Bottled water’s healthier image needs stretching to maintain growth
                                                            • The facts
                                                              • The implications
                                                                • Provenance and purity will become increasingly important
                                                                  • The facts
                                                                    • The implications
                                                                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                                      • Sales of bottled water continue to grow strongly
                                                                        • Move away from sugary drinks boosts sales
                                                                          • Uncertainties ahead for bottled water
                                                                            • Unflavoured still water two thirds of value retail sales
                                                                              • Sugar concerns lead shift away from sugary drinks
                                                                                • Consumers are concerned about plastic waste
                                                                                  • Plastic particles in water are another worry
                                                                                    • Threat from usage of reusable bottles
                                                                                      • Growth in number of older kids/teenagers
                                                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                        • Sales of bottled water continue to grow strongly
                                                                                          • Figure 7: UK value and volume sales of bottled water, 2013-23
                                                                                        • The future
                                                                                            • Figure 8: Forecast of UK value sales of bottled water, 2013-23
                                                                                            • Figure 9: Forecast of UK volume sales of bottled water, 2013-23
                                                                                          • Forecast methodology
                                                                                          • Market Segmentation

                                                                                            • Unflavoured still water still accounts for two thirds of value retail sales
                                                                                              • Flavoured sparkling sees strong growth
                                                                                                • Figure 10: UK retail value and volume sales of bottled water, by segment, 2016-18
                                                                                              • Long run of growth for retail and on-premise sales
                                                                                                • Figure 11: UK value and volume sales of bottled water, by retail and on-premise channels, 2013-18
                                                                                            • Market Drivers

                                                                                              • Soft Drinks Industry Levy came into effect in April 2018
                                                                                                • Levy applies from 5g of sugar per 100ml
                                                                                                  • Healthy eating is high on consumers’ radars, with sugar the top concern
                                                                                                    • PHE and media put sugar in the spotlight
                                                                                                      • More people strive to eat healthily
                                                                                                        • Sugar concerns lead shift away from sugary drinks
                                                                                                          • Concern around plastic poses a major issue for bottled water industry
                                                                                                            • Consumers are concerned about plastic waste
                                                                                                              • Government considers deposit return scheme and announces tax on plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content
                                                                                                                • Plastic particles in water are another source of worry
                                                                                                                  • Threat from usage of reusable bottles and free water refill stations
                                                                                                                    • Growth in number of older kids/teenagers
                                                                                                                      • Figure 12: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2013-23
                                                                                                                  • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                    • Highland Spring and Volvic outperform the market
                                                                                                                      • Nestlé Pure Life and Rubicon Spring also perform strongly
                                                                                                                        • Majority of new launches come from flavoured waters
                                                                                                                          • L/N/R sugar claims feature on nine in ten flavoured water launches
                                                                                                                            • Functional health claims hope to add differentiation
                                                                                                                              • Brands focus on more sustainable packaging
                                                                                                                                • Water in cans increasing from small base
                                                                                                                                  • Flavoured waters take larger share of advertising
                                                                                                                                    • Big bottled water brands lack differentiation
                                                                                                                                      • Glaceau Smartwater seen as the most innovative
                                                                                                                                      • Market Share

                                                                                                                                        • Highland Spring and Volvic outperform the market
                                                                                                                                          • Nestlé Pure Life and Rubicon benefit from children’s and flavoured offering
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 13: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK bottled water retail market, by value and volume, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                                                                                                                                        • Start-ups and Disruptors – Case Studies

                                                                                                                                          • CanO Water
                                                                                                                                            • What is it?
                                                                                                                                              • Founded:
                                                                                                                                                • Company mission statement:
                                                                                                                                                  • Founder’s story:
                                                                                                                                                    • Mintel analyst view
                                                                                                                                                      • Mintel Trends
                                                                                                                                                        • Why it could succeed
                                                                                                                                                          • Why it could fail
                                                                                                                                                            • The verdict
                                                                                                                                                              • Product information
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 14: CanO Water, product list, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                              • Media profile
                                                                                                                                                                • Social media metrics
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 15: Social media metrics for CanO Water as of February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                • The brand’s view
                                                                                                                                                                  • Sources of funding and support:
                                                                                                                                                                    • Target audience:
                                                                                                                                                                      • What consumer needs does the range meet?
                                                                                                                                                                        • Product stockists
                                                                                                                                                                          • Looking to the future
                                                                                                                                                                            • Aqua Esse
                                                                                                                                                                              • What is it?
                                                                                                                                                                                • Founded:
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Company mission statement:
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Founder’ story:
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Mintel analyst view
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Mintel Trends
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Why it could succeed
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Why it could fail
                                                                                                                                                                                              • The verdict
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Product information
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 16: Aqua Esse, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Media profile
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Social media metrics
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 17: Social media metrics for Aqua Esse as of February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • The brand’s view
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sources of funding and support:
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Target audience:
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • What consumer needs does the range meet?
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Product stockists:
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Looking to the future:
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Majority of new launches come from flavoured waters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Less sweet flavours attract activity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Brand extension and category blurring continues
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 18: New product launches in the UK bottled water retail market, by segment, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Flavoured waters seen as more tasty and exciting than unflavoured
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Marked variation between perception of individual products
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 19: Perception map of attribute performance of flavoured bottled water in comparison to bottled water in the UK bottled water market, April 2018-March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • L/N/R sugar claims feature on nine in ten flavoured water launches
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 20: Share of flavoured bottled water launches featuring L/N/R sugar claims, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Functional health claims hope to add differentiation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 21: Share of flavoured and unflavoured bottled water launches featuring functional claims, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Waters tap into interest in protein
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Number of other new launches promoting health and wellbeing benefits
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Examples of new products making functional claims in bottled water, 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Addressing concerns about plastic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Brands focusing on more sustainable packaging
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Examples of new water products in more sustainable packaging, 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Water in cans increasing from small base
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Share of new product launches in the UK bottled water retail market in cans, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Examples of new water products in cans, 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Sparkling water launches now dominated by flavoured
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 26: New sparkling product launches in the UK bottled water market, by segment, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Examples of new flavoured products in sparkling bottled water, 2018 and 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Flavoured waters taking larger share of advertising
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on bottled water, by type, 2015-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Britvic Soft Drinks is the biggest spender in water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on bottled water, by advertiser, 2015-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Volvic focuses on health and lifestyle messages
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Glaceau Smartwater announces new UK brand ambassador
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • San Pellegrino takes viewers on a journey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Robinsons emphasises real fruit and spring water combination
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Rubicon Spring uses animated humour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Fit Water focuses on New Year resolutions and exercise
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • SodaStream launches local advertising campaign
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: SodaStream Facebook sponsored post, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Brand Research

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Brand map
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, January 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Key brand metrics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Key metrics for selected brands, January 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Brand attitudes: Evian is the most trusted brand
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Attitudes, by brand, January 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Brand personality: San Pellegrino seen as less accessible than other brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Brand personality – Macro image, January 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Highland Spring seen as most traditional
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Brand personality – Micro image, January 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Brand analysis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • More than four in ten see Volvic as refreshing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: User profile of Volvic, January 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Evian is the most trusted brand
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: User profile of Evian, January 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Highland Spring seen as good value more than other brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: User profile of Highland Spring, January 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Glaceau Smartwater is seen as the most innovative brand
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: User profile of Glaceau Smartwater, January 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Nestlé Pure Life lacks strong associations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 40: User profile of Nestlé Pure Life, January 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • San Pellegrino seen as more sophisticated and stylish than others
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 41: User profile of San Pellegrino, January 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Three quarters of adults drink bottled water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Younger people are the biggest bottled water drinkers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Nearly a third of adults use water filter products
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Best option out of home reason for drinking for a third
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Being seen as healthier than other drinks also drives usage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Efforts to reduce sugar are helping bottled water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bottled water at risk from people opting more for tap water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Consumers need convincing on functional claims
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Concern around plastic is a major issue for industry
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Source of water and purity is important
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Usage of Bottled Water

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Three quarters of adults drink bottled water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Usage of bottled water, by type, December 2016-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Unflavoured still is the most popular type of water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Frequency of drinking bottled water, by type, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Younger people are the biggest bottled water drinkers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Usage of Water Filter Products and Reusable Water Bottles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Nearly a third of adults use water filter products
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Usage of water filter products at home, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • More than half of adults carry reusable water bottles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Carrying of reusable water bottles out of home, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Reasons for Drinking Bottled Water

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Bottled water is seen as best option out of home by more than a third
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Reasons for drinking bottled water, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Bottled water being deemed good for hydration is a big reason for drinking it
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Being seen as a healthier drinks option also drives bottled water usage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Behaviours Relating to Bottled Water

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • People’s efforts to reduce sugar are helping bottled water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Behaviours relating to bottled water, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bottled water at risk from people opting more for tap water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Consumers need convincing on functional claims
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes towards Bottled Water

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Concern around plastic is a major issue for the industry
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Attitudes towards bottled water, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Cartons and cans appeal widely as alternatives to plastic bottles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Source of water is important, microplastics are widely seen as concern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail value sales of bottled water, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail volume sales of bottled water, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Market Drivers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • EFSA low-sugar threshold undercuts the SDIL threshold
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Share

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Leading manufacturer’s sales and shares in the UK bottled water retail market, by value and volume, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Share of new product launches in the UK bottled water retail market, by brands and private label, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Share of new product launches in the UK bottled water retail market, by top 25 claims, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Share of new product launches in the UK bottled water retail market, by package type, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 55: Share of new product launches in the UK bottled water retail market that are ‘sparkling’, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 56: Attribute performance of flavoured bottled waters in comparison to unflavoured bottled waters in the UK bottled water market, April 2018-March 2019