By Sophie Carkeek

Runaway growth in West Europe’s flavored water market is the result of consumer demand for drinks that combine good taste with an enhanced sense of well-being, according to the 2005 West Europe flavored water report from leading drinks consultancy Zenith International. Volumes raced ahead by 17 percent to reach 1,115 million liters in 2004, despite the damp squib of a poor summer.

Benefiting from the purity and healthiness associated with bottled water, flavored waters stand out as thirst-quenching lighter alternatives to soft drinks, while offering an interesting change from plain bottled water. A small but rising number of flavored waters also provide added value through the inclusion of functional ingredients such as vitamins, minerals and herbs.

Individual national markets vary considerably in the types of products available and volumes sold. Austria, which has the highest consumption per person, is led by exotically flavored functional brands that contain an array of health-promoting ingredients. Many northern countries are characterised by unsweetened sparkling products that are simply flavored with either lemon or lime.

The United Kingdom spearheads the West European market with a 26 percent volume share, closely followed by Germany and France. Together the trio account for over 70 percent of total sales. Danone’s Volvic fruit-flavored water is the leading brand of all three. Other markets, especially in southern Europe, are still in the early stages of development. Flavored water evidently offers considerable untapped potential to bottled water and soft drinks companies alike.

“In addition to leveraging the considerable pull of several of Europe’s best-known bottled waters, flavored water products are increasingly marketed under brands from other segments such as sports drinks and iced tea,” commented Zenith’s Research Director Gary Roethenbaugh. “Flavored waters provide manufacturers with the ultimate in flexibility. At present, the sheer variety of flavors and functional ingredients on offer enables each brand to carve out its own niche.”

Zenith forecasts the West European flavored water market will continue to grow by an average of 13 percent a year to pass 2,000 million liters by 2009.

For further information, please contact: Sophie Carkeek, Zenith International Ltd., 7 Kingsmead Square, Bath BA1 2AB, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (0) 1225 327900; fax: +44 (0) 1225 327901; Email: [email protected]; Website:


Comments are closed.