Consumer Shift to Bottled Water Uncaps New Generation of Products

by Robert Palmer - Date: 2007-04-12 - Word Count: 833 Share This!

If you are a consumer products marketer or Packaging professional, the greatest ?calls to action? are clear changes in consumer lifestyles and behavior.

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) states that the sales of bottled water have increased by five-fold over the past decade. Bottled water sales reached over $10 Billion in the US in 2006. It is projected that within the next 6 years, the bottled water industry will grow to $45 Billion in the US alone(1).

The ?obvious? reasons for this consumer behavior include perceptions that tap water does not taste as good as its pre-packaged counterpart. In addition, commonly held perceptions that bottled water is ?safer? than tap water are compelling, if not entirely accurate. Concerns over tampering or bioterrorism in recent years have unquestionably helped fuel the growth.

According to Beverage Marketing Corporation, domestic non-sparkling water should grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.1%. Its share of the market will go from 95.1% in 2005 to 96% in 2010. In 2006, the preliminary number of gallons per capita consumption reached 28.3, an annual change of 8.6%(2).

As the bottled water markets continue to grow, brand owners and product manufacturers are faced with profound challenges and opportunities. This is where the less-obvious drivers resulting in such behavioral changes must be identified and addressed. Starting with the known:

? It has become common knowledge that, on average, 8 glasses of water/day support greater health and wellness.

? Bottled water is a logical response for the mobile consumer as it?s portable and convenient to carry.

? The world?s largest beverage marketers have artfully transformed their focus and strategies to highlight both sales of water and tasteful ingredients to enhance the experience, as carbonated and sugar-based business units are in decline.

? According to a study by Zenith International, the worldwide consumption of bottled water per person is expected to surpass carbonated soft drinks within the next 5 years(3).

? The generation of children that grew up thinking an H2O hydration experience is linked to a sink and a faucet is being replaced by those who see drinking water in the shape of a bottle.


Now that bottled water has amassed such widespread acceptance and mainstream use, beverage marketers have stepped up with dosing formats, such as stick packs, that are ideally suited for mixing flavorful powders into the bottle while ?on the go.?

Stick packs were developed for applications such as sugar and non-dairy creamers dating back into the ?70?s, and have flourished both in Japan and Europe for an expanding range of applications. Now, stick pack usage in North America is on the rise because they are emerging as the consumer-preferred dosing format for mixing powder into bottled water.
It is projected that stick packs usage in North America will grow to nearly 80MM in 2007. The 2007 global projection of stick pack usage is nearly 180MM(4).

Forward-thinking marketers are recognizing that beverage powders are but one example of tried and true products that can be effectively liberated from traditional bulk delivery methods (plastic tubs, paperboard canisters, for example) that were developed for use at home.

A new round of product launches is now underway, capitalizing on the surging popularity of bottled water. Energy and sports nutritional supplements are rapidly finding their way into stick packs, as well. Rather than taking a chance with the development of a new product, which can be costly, risky and time-consuming, marketers are reinventing tried and true brands with innovative new packages that offer obvious benefits and functionality to consumers.

Since a recent Harris study reported what most people take for granted, that over 40% of consumers are averse to taking pills and capsules, even more products and applications are likely to be considering revitalization through the bottled water phenomenon(5). Why go through the unpleasantness of swallowing a pill, if you can gain the equivalent benefit through a pleasant-tasting ?stick-and-sip? experience linked to bottled water?

Bottled water is unquestionably here to stay, and that can only mean that some time-honored delivery systems and dosing formats are in trouble. On the other side of the coin, the shift away from the tap is signaling underlying changes in consumer lifestyle and consumption patterns that are ripe with new product opportunities. In any case, the tide has turned, and visionary brand marketers and packaging professionals can only be rewarded by ?going with the flow.?

For more press information, please contact:

Trish Hamer
Delia Associates
295 Route 22 East, Suite 102W
Whitehouse, NJ 08888
Tel: 908-534-9044

Please visit for the latest news on T.H.E.M.

(1) The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), The United States Bottled Water Market,, 2006
(2) Beverage Marketing Corporation, The Projected National Bottled Water Market, 2006
(3) Zenith International, Bottled water to beat fizzy drinks in five years,, 2006
(4) PTI Solutions, Top-Line Review: 2006 Global Pouch Forum,,, 2006
(5) Schwarz Pharma, Inc., Pill-Swallowing Problems in America: a National Survey of Adults, study prepared by Harris Interactive, 2003
For more information on T.H.E.M.?s products and services, please contact:

Colleen Morrill
5A Stow Road
Marlton, NJ 08053
Tel: 856-988-8436, x47

Related Tags: package, portable, packaging, beverage, flexible, bottled-water, stick-pack, slim-stick, on-the-go, energy-drinks

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