In its 23rd annual report on the UK bottled water market, specialist food and drink industry consultancy Zenith International ( has added analysis of flavored, functional and juicy waters for the first time.

According to Zenith, UK consumption of all bottled water drinks rose by 10.1% in 2013 to 2,770 million liters with a retail value of £2,300 million. Volumes are now 50 times the level of 30 years ago and represent 19% of all soft drinks consumed.

"Bottled water drinks have become increasingly accepted as an ideal beverage category for consumers," comments Zenith chairman Richard Hall. "Consumers are placing ever greater value on their key attributes of healthy hydration and on-the-go convenience. There are still some critics about the environmental impact, but their overall footprint is in fact lower than any other packaged beverage."

Plain bottled water sales volume in retail pack sizes jumped by 11.6% to 2,090 million liters, the highest rate of growth for 10 years. Flavored, functional and juicy water plus drinks rose 8.3% to 410 million liters. Bottled water cooler sales improved by 1.8% to 270 million liters after several years of decline.

"2013 was the best year for bottled water growth since the economic downturn and was undoubtedly helped by the strengthening economy as well as better summer weather," Richard Hall adds.

Amongst other findings of the 2014 Zenith report:

  • Still water drinks were responsible for 82% of 2013 volume and sparkling water drinks 18%.
  • Plain bottled water accounted for 85% of total consumption, flavored and functional waters 13% and juicy waters 2%.
  • The top 5 plain water brands by volume were Highland Spring, Evian, Buxton, Volvic and Nestlé Pure Life.
  • The top 3 water plus brands by volume were Volvic Touch of Fruit, Calypso Clear and Juicy Drench.

"It is fantastic to see the bottled water category in such growth and people increasingly choosing to drink water. The Natural Hydration Council works hard to promote healthy hydration and water in all forms, whilst also challenging misconceptions and inaccuracies around bottled water. It is good to see yet more evidence where behaviors of the British public demonstrate they understand and feel the benefits of hydrating with water," comments Natural Hydration Council general manager Kinvara Carey.

Zenith forecasts continuing overall growth by a further 22% towards 3,400 million liters by 2018.