Bottled Water Continues to Grow Despite Higher Costs

Bottled Water Continues to Grow Despite Higher Costs

There was a time in the not too distant past when it seemed like every piece of packaging equipment built at our company was being shipped to a bottled water plant.  Overflow fillers, conveyors, rinsing machines and spindle cappers were manufactured to move 16 ounce plastic bottles through the packaging process.  Since that time, the industries served and equipment manufactured has become much more varied, making bottled water equipment a smaller percentage of the machinery produced.  Obviously, this is because the boom of bottled water is in the past, right?  Actually, the numbers seem to say otherwise.  In a recent interview, Kim Jeffrey, president and chief executive of Nestle Waters North America, discussed prices, soft drinks and the future of bottled water.

According to Jeffrey, the price of bottled water has fallen around 35% in the last decade.  However, just like everything else, the economy and higher cost of commodities drove Nestle to raise the price of bottled water for the first time in a decade last year.  Some may take the long, slow drop followed by a raise in price as a sign of declining demand, or desperation, by the industry.  The truth is, the declining cost of bottled water was due to the competition and the race to win market share.

The popularity of bottled water continues to rise, as it gains more and more shares of the beverage market.  Jeffrey points out that, at least nationally, there continues to be a lot of room for growth as it applies to bottled water consumption.  The United States is the only developed country in the world where soft drinks are sold more than bottled water.  The last ten years has seen the consumption of soft drinks drop nearly ten percent while bottled water has increased by eight percent.  Several United States markets have already seen bottled water surpass soft drinks, primarily along the coasts.

One possible explanation for the continued growth, seemingly cited in every discussion of botted water, is the trend toward a more healthy lifestyle.  Jeffrey noted that in addition to the 15 different brands of bottled water packaged by Nestle, he sees a possibility for expansion of different tea brands at Nestle for the same reason.  He explained, "Bottled water has done so well in my opinion due to the absence of negatives...I'm pretty much in the camp of 'I want to sell healthy beverages to people.'"

All in all, bottled water continues to not only be popular, but to grow as well.  The fact that bottled water equipment represents a lower percentage of manufactured equipment is not due to declining popularity, but rather due to increased packaging needs in other industries and a growing production rate at our own company.  But even as we expand our own horizons, we continue to produce rinsing equipment, filling machinery, capping machines and power conveyors that have served, and apparently will continue to serve, the bottled water industry.

Click here to read the complete article on bottled water's prices and future.

For more information on packaging equipment for bottled water plants, contact a representative of Liquid Packaging Solutions, Inc., toll free at 1-888-393-3693, or browse the bottled water page.