UK bottled water sales hit four billion litres

Deborah Williams 13 March 2019 (Last Updated March 13th, 2019 14:24)

UK bottled water sales have increased by 7% hitting 4.267 billion litres due to last year’s summer heatwave, according to a report by global food and drink experts Zenith Global.

UK bottled water sales hit four billion litres
UK bottled water sales hit four billion litres. Myrtle Beach TheDigitel via Flickr

UK bottled water sales have increased by 7% hitting 4.267 billion litres due to last year’s summer heatwave, according to a report by global food and drink experts Zenith Global.

The report noted that this increase is worth around £3,330m at retail prices.

Retail-packed plain bottled water sales rose by 7.9% to 3.4 billion litres. Flavoured, functional and juicy water sales rose by 7.2%. UK bottled water consumption was at 2.8 million litres and the UK water drinks market was at 2,772 million litres in 2013. Plain water accounted for 86% of the water market, flavoured and functional water at 13%, and juicy water at 1%.

Zenith Global says that the sugar tax of April 2018 had a ‘limited impact’ on the increases due to many manufacturers pre-emptively reformulating goods to avoid the tax.

Zenith Global senior consultant Robin Bell said: “Our forecasts to 2023 show an upward trend of 3% -5% a year.”

The report included packaging innovations for the first time, such as recycled content, exploratory initiatives in recycling and deposit return schemes.

Recent UK bottled water initiatives include Radnor hills’ X-EnviroShrink sustainable wrapping, Pathwater’s reusable packaging solution and Highland Spring’s 100% recycled and recyclable plastic eco bottles.

Bell added: “Debate about plastic and recycling are likely to remain centre stage and we expect to see more packaging from alternative materials becoming mainstream.”