The water segment continues to be a valuable source of sales for convenience retailers, making up the biggest segment in the soft drinks category and accounting for 26% of all soft drinks volume sales1.
With the combined easing of lockdown restrictions and increased demand for plain water during the summer, we expect sales of on-the-go pack formats to return to 2019 levels over the course of 2021. Before the pandemic, 74% of total plain water value sales came from on-the-go formats2.
With 37% of soft drinks purchases made on impulse3, it’s essential that retailers stock the right pack formats and brands to meet the needs of on-the-go consumption, whether that is for instant refreshment or consumption on the move. Visibility is also key to capitalising on water sales, so position still and sparkling variants alongside sandwiches and snacks at the front of the store to capture those impulse purchases.
Trends for 2021
Sustainability. Sustainability will continue to be at the forefront of shoppers’ minds4, particularly as 67% of consumers consider it important to buy products with recyclable packaging5. Buxton’s on-the-go range is completely made from 100% recycled plastic and is fully recyclable.
It also features “I am made from other bottles” messaging, helping retailers to communicate sustainability credentials to address shopper concerns.
Impulse purchases. 63% of total plain water value sales come from on-the-go formats6, so it’s essential that retailers stock the right products and brands to meet the needs of on-the-go consumption, whether immediate or on the move. For maximum impact, retailers should capitalise on impulse purchases by siting bottled water next to complimentary products, such as crisps, snacks, pastries, food to go and hot drinks vending machines.
Buxton is the number one British natural mineral water brand in the convenience channel, based on unit rate of sales7, with the 75cl format a great option for on-the-go consumption.
Sparkling water. With many restaurants and out of home outlets closed throughout 2020, shoppers have sought products at their local convenience store that replicate out-of-home experiences. This has driven strong performance of the plain sparkling segment, which has seen strong growth of 5.2%8.
Retailers should consider stocking S.Pellegrino, as the number one plain sparkling water brand in the UK9, with the S.Pellegrino 50cl format a great addition to any water fixture or food on the go offering in convenience stores.
- 26% of total soft drinks volume sales comes from the water segment10
- 37% of soft drinks purchases are made on impulse11
- 67% of consumers consider it important to buy products with recyclable packaging12
- 28% of water purchases are picked up from ambient locations outside the chiller13
- Allocate your chiller correctly. Natural mineral water is the largest segment of the soft drinks’ category, so it is vital that retailers dedicate enough space in their chillers for water. Retailers should allocate a quarter of their chiller space to natural mineral water, before grouping by still, sparkling and flavoured to make the fixture easy to shop. Retailers should ensure they stock Buxton 75cl and Buxton 1l format for drinking on the go and all-day hydration, while the bigger pack format Buxton 1.5l is ideal for consumption at home.
- Boost visibility throughout store. With 28% of mineral water sales picked up from ambient locations outside the chiller14, secondary displays will help to keep your soft drinks offering front of mind for customers, whilst also reinforcing healthy hydration habits. The Buxton box allows retailers to merchandise water outside of the chillers, helping to drive visibility and prompt shoppers to purchase as they walk around the store.
- Drive value with plain sparkling water. With the growth of sparkling water, retailers should ensure they stock the right pack format and brand. S. Pellegrino 50cl will help enhance the food on the go offering and drive value to water sales. Larger formats like the S.Pellegrino 1l also provide a good take-home option for shoppers.
1 IRI Market Advantage, Soft Drinks database, Volume sales, MAT 3 Apr 2021, All Outlets UK
2 IRI Market Advantage, Water database, Val Sh%, MAT 2019, Convenience exc Major Mults
3 HIM, CTP, 2019
4 IGD UK Convenience Trends 2020 – revisited December 2020
5 Trivium Packaging’s 2021 Global Buying Green Report
6 IRI Market Advantage, Water database, Val Sh%, MAT 3 Apr 2021, Convenience exc Major Mults
7 IRI, UK Water Market, MAT 52 weeks, 25 January 2020, Value Sales
8 IRI MarketPlace, Plain Sparkling Water Database, MAT, Value Sales, 03 Apr 2021, Symbols and Independents
9 IRI MarketPlace, Plain Sparkling Water Database, MAT, Value Sales, 03 Apr 2021, All Outlets UK
10 IRI Market Advantage, Soft Drinks database, Volume sales, MAT 3 Apr 2021, All Outlets UK
11 HIM, CTP, 2019
12 Trivium Packaging’s 2021 Global Buying Green Report
13, 14 Lumina, CTP 2019