Water is the most consumed non-alcoholic, non-dairy drink in Australia (IBISWorld, ‘Bottled water manufacturing in Australia’, February 2019, provided by Australian Beverages Council).
Talking to Retail World, Australian Beverages Council Head of Corporate Affairs Cathy Cook says bottled and packaged water outselling sugar-sweetened carbonated soft drinks is evidence of a major trend change in what Australians are drinking.
“Pre-Covid, per capita [per person per year] sales of bottled water in 2018 represented 36% of all sales of non-alcoholic, water-based beverages in Australia, compared with 9% in 1997 [‘Sales of sugar-sweetened beverages in Australia: A trend analysis from 1997 to 2018’. Nutrients, 2020],” she says.
“Volume sales have continued to grow since that time, up 2.07% in 2021, with only HOD [home and office delivery]/bulk water sales being slowed by Covid lockdowns, down 9.6% from 2020 to 2021 [GlobalData, 2021].”
From a supplier perceptive, Quest Beverages co-founder Murray Raeburn says his company has attracted “strong growth” in the water category.
“However, there’s a lot more diversification in the market, with more consumers choosing value-added and premium propositions,” he says, adding that consumers are searching for premium, functional benefits, and flavoured waters with all-natural ingredients.
Sanpellegrino Brand Manager Damian Giorgini says the water category is continuing to show “solid growth”, with the “continual emergence and growth of the flavoured water segments” a key driver.
Adding to the conversation, Dash Water co-founder Jack Scott says demand for flavoured sparkling water is stronger than ever, with Australian consumers looking for healthier alternatives in the soft drinks category.
“Consumers are looking for more and will pay for the additional benefits, perceived or real,” he says.
Read more about water in the March issue of Retail World.