- IRI said that the bottled water category increased by 8.2% in dollars and nearly 6.5% in units over a 52-week period that ended on Oct. 30, with total sales in the category for retail outlets totaling $14.7 billion with unit sales of 7.56 billion, according to Grocery Headquarters.
- One reason for the increase could be attributed to a variety of new offerings in the category, including vitamin and oxygen-infused brands; sparkling items; flavored brands; and products that focus on kids or athletes.
- However, the influx of so many choices has made it tough on retailers to appease its clientele with everything it wants due to shelf space constraints.
Grocery stores once considered bottled water to be something of a loss leader due to the amount of space it took up and low prices. As bottled water sales are now surpassing those of soda, stores are seeing profits and must make difficult choices about what to carry. Some stores are even starting to take shelf space from carbonated soft drinks and juices.
Analysts say that the bottled water category should continue to expand in the year ahead. With major companies like Nestlé and Coca-Cola expanding its bottled water flavor lines, the flood of new products is not expected to stop.
According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, the continued increase in per capita consumption of bottled water shows that consumers view it as a healthy alternative to other packaged beverages.