With health and wellbeing increasingly in focus following Covid-19, consumers are seeking out clean-label soft drinks – including bottled water that offers clear provenance – so businesses need to keep their finger on the pulse of the latest trends.

The past two years have been more intense than any in recent memory. Covid-19 remains an unresolved public-health challenge and there is little doubt that it has woken up our society in many ways.

The most important one is a new understanding of what and how we eat and drink and how these foods and beverages have a significant effect on our health, stamina, strength and immunity to fight off viruses and other health abnormalities.

Shoppers have changed how they are making choices, with a new yearning for reading labels, understanding what ingredients are in their foods, where the goods come from and which ones they should avoid. Consumer behaviour and the economic environment are changing fast – and it’s critical for brands and businesses to keep a finger on the pulse of both.

 

Key trends

Bigger formats: Water is now likely to be picked up in greater quantities and bigger formats. It is set to continue to be the standout performer in the next two years1 and plain water accounts for the largest share of the market, due to popular at-home formats5.

Health and wellness: Health has become the No.1 issue for consumers, with many purchase decisions based on health benefits, such as immunity, low sodium diets etc. People are discerning of the impact that less healthy drink choices have on their health and are seeking out healthier products to support their new healthy habits.

Shift to mineral water: Due to its perceived health benefits, mineral water’s share has increased2, with particular growth for sparkling. This indicates consumers are becoming more and more discerning and demanding when it comes to traceability and are ready to pay more for a premium water brand that delivers on the label.

Trend for sparkling natural source water: Unique in the UK, Aqua Carpatica Natural Sparkling Mineral Water is completely nitrate-free and rich in naturally occurring minerals: 1L provides 26% of the NHS’ recommended daily amount of magnesium for adults per litre and almost 40% of calcium.

Key numbers you need to know

2x
How often consumers are visiting convenience stores a week3

64%
of UK consumers are looking for traceability – water sourced from a specific location4

40%
of plain water sales are attributed to sparkling water5

 

Product spotlight

UK Line up 2L cropped

Standing out in terms of composition, design and functionality, Aqua Carpatica boasts a unique portfolio, offering both still and sparkling, in glass, PET (BPA-free) and 100% rPET bottles. The award-winning range is virtually nitrate-free and has one of the lowest sodium levels of bottled natural mineral waters. Fourteen different formats suit all consumption occasions: from on-the-go to big volumes for home occasions (1.5L and 2L), as dictated by the latest market trends, which see bigger and heavier formats driving the bottled water category.

 

Plan your shelf the right way to increase sales

● Ensure you have the right variety, stock up on best-sellers and allow multiple facings for preferred formats, to cover all occasions and ensure availability at all times.

● Most c-store shoppers are on an on-the-go mission. Place smaller formats at eye-level and position water near other on-the-go products, such as chilled food-to-go, coffee machines or bakery products to drive cross-category buys.

● Use in-store signage to call attention and communicate a healthier drink option for kids.

 

Top tips 

1. Tap into trends: Meeting the growing consumer demand for health and premiumisation is key when choosing stock. A range of premium products can have a real impact.

2. In-store impulse: Most shoppers will make purchase decisions in-store. Use POS to drive attention and encourage impulse sales. Category management means having the right product on the shelf to meet customers’ needs and merchandising clearly and effectively.

3. Stock variety: Sparkling water is often under-represented. Provide additional options in terms of brand and pack format to maximise the opportunity.

 

Sources
1 Global Data, Covid-19 Impact Model Consumer Goods
Zenith, 2020 UK market developments and 2021 outlook
3 Lumina, UK Convenience Market Report 2021
4 Global Data Consumer Preferences Survey UK
5 Zenith