Summary of our market study

The global bottled water market has been experiencing steady growth, with particular momentum in Asia. By 2019, bottled water sales reached approximately 289 billion liters, with a projection to increase to 371 billion liters by 2024, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.12% from the previous rate of 5.9% from 2014 to 2019. Belgium's market reflects this trend with rising per capita consumption, reaching €54 per capita in 2018, indicating a 35% increase from €40 in 2012. Despite the volume and per capita growth, company revenues have not proportionally increased, suggesting potential margin decreases or other factors impacting revenue recognition. The industry is facing significant environmental pressures, leading to increased use of recycled PET (rPET) in bottling, with large players like Evian aiming for 100% rPET by 2025. Flavored water is proliferating rapidly, growing at a CAGR of 28% between 2014 and 2019, expected to surpass 50 million liters by 2024. Belgium's market remains importer-dependent, with imports valued higher than exports, and France as the primary import source. The sector is concentrated with a few major players, including Spadel, Nestlé, Alma Group, and Danone holding over half of the market share. Data post-2020 is not available within the given text..### Main Trends in the Belgian Bottled Water Market The Belgian bottled water market exhibits strength and dynamic change, with several trends shaping consumption behaviors and market structure. A significant increase in consumption has been observed, registering an upward trend with volume growth of approximately 19% between 2008 and 2018. With the country witnessing per capita consumption reaching upwards of €50 per person annually, there’s clear evidence of an enhanced focus on health and wellbeing among consumers. In an international context, the global bottled water market has experienced steadfast growth with Asia driving the momentum. However, Belgium solidly holds its position as a leading consumer in the European landscape, ranking third in per capita bottled water consumption, which stood at around 127 liters per person in 2015. An influential trend within this market segment is the blossoming of the flavoured water category. Witnessing incredible growth of about a 28% CAGR between 2014 and 2019, flavoured water is projected to continue on an upward trajectory. Despite its current relatively minor share of the overall bottled water market, it’s quickly gaining favor as a healthier substitute for traditional soft drinks. Sustainability is steering industry transformation, as mounting environmental concerns drive consumer and corporate behaviors. A significant majority—approximately 88%—of bottled waters are sold in PET formats, but there is an evident push towards the adoption of recycling initiatives and eco-friendly packaging, with leading brands making commitments to increase the use of recycled plastic content. The market for bottled water in Belgium is highly concentrated, with key players such as Spadel, Nestlé, Alma Group, and Danone dominating more than half of the sales. Spadel stands out as the market leader, owing partly to its local roots and consumer trust. Reflecting on the domestic market, imports have overshadowed exports with Belgium importing more water than it exports, displaying a coverage rate of just under 76%. France is the most significant import partner, supplying over half of bottled water imports to Belgium, indicative of Belgian consumers’ preference for well-known French brands like Evian and Vittel. When it comes to distribution, supermarkets are the dominant channel, accounting for nearly half of sales, followed by discounters and convenience stores. With the advent of digital shopping, e-commerce channels are slowly but steadily gaining market share, seeing considerable growth since 2014. Despite the consistent increase in consumption volume, company revenues have not followed suit proportionally, suggesting a possible decrease in margins or a shift in gains towards retailers as manufacturers contend with market evolutions. Prices.### Dominant Forces in the Belgian Bottled Water Landscape Within the competitive sphere of the Belgian bottled water market, several key players have established their dominance, effectively shaping the industry's dynamics. These market leaders are not only known for their sizable presence within Belgium but also for their significant global footprint in the bottled water sector. **Spadel** is a notable frontrunner, particularly within Belgium. As a local giant, its brand names such as SPA and Bru resonate with Belgian consumers who tend to prefer and trust local players. Spadel's dominance is powered by its deep roots in the region and a robust portfolio that appeals to local tastes and preferences. **Nestlé Waters** stands as a global behemoth in the industry. With an expansive portfolio that includes well-known international brands like Perrier and San Pellegrino, it holds a commanding position in the market. Nestlé's strategic commitment to innovation and sustainability has allowed it to connect with eco-conscious consumers while catering to a variety of taste profiles through its diverse offering of water products. **Danone Waters** is another titan in the realm of bottled water, with the company's commitment to health-centric products aligning well with growing consumer trends towards healthier hydration options. With brands like Evian and Volvic, Danone Waters has managed to capture significant market share by leveraging its reputation for purity and natural sourcing. **Coca-Cola** might be synonymous with soft drinks, but it has also carved out a substantial segment in the bottled water market. Through products such as Dasani and Smartwater, Coca-Cola has tapped into the consumer shift towards non-sugary beverages, thus broadening its product base and mitigating risks associated with changing consumer tastes. As dominant players in the bottled water industry, these companies have been crucial in driving innovation, shaping consumer preferences, and responding to the challenges of environmental sustainability. Their strategic positioning and prolific brand portfolios underscore the competitive nature of the market and their unwavering influence over the bottled water landscape in Belgium.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market summary

1.1 Introduction

The bottled water sector includes spring and mineral water, which can take natural or sparkling form. Moreover, flavoured water is a segment of this market which is gaining in prominence.

Globally, the bottled water market is growing, driven by Asia primarily. Indeed, bottled water serves as a reliable alternative to natural sources of water.

In Belgium, the market continues to expand in volume terms. Belgium has also seen that the per capita consumption is increasing. Flavoured water is growing at the most rapid pace, where traditional bottled water's growth is estimated to flatten for the years to come. 

Finally, there is a widespread concern regarding plastic bottling, where both consumers and companies are looking for alternatives to this form of packaging. Today, around 88% of all water bottles sold are bottled in PET form.

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Taille du marché de l'eau en bouteille
  • Taux de croissance annuel moyen du marché mondial de l'eau en bouteille
  • Les cinq principaux consommateurs d'eau en bouteille en Europe
  • Consommation de bouteilles d'eau
  • Consommation d'eau en bouteille par habitant
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Latest news

Danone opens a second plant for plant-based products in France - 12/02/2024
  • Danone inaugurates a new plant dedicated to the manufacture of dairy alternatives in France
  • Danone has completely converted its Villecomtal-sur-Arros yogurt plant in the Gers department into a unit dedicated to Alpro-brand plant-based beverages. 43 million euros of investment
  • Production, mainly of oat juice cartons, is 90% destined for Europe.
  • Danone now has four milk-alternative production units in Europe. Two in France, at Issenheim and Villecomtal in the Gers region, one in Sweden, at Lunnarp, and the fourth at Wevelgem in Belgium.
  • Vegetable-based products have become "a strategic focus" for the world's number one in ultra-fresh products.
  • Danone took the t turn in 2017 with the $12.5 billion acquisition of US group WhiteWave.
  • In France, ultra-fresh products are deeply rooted in diets.
  • Plant milk accounts for just 4% of the traditional dairy products market by volume and 7.4% by value.
  • The plant-based milk market is worth 165 million euros, according to FranceAgriMer.
  • More than 6 out of ten people in France in the 18-24 age bracket eat plant-based products several times a week, according to lDanone
  • Many dairy groups, including Triballat, Nestlé and Bel, have chosen to develop plant-based ranges.
  • Retail chains are present under their own brands (MDD).
Nestlé admits using prohibited methods for its mineral waters - 29/01/2024
  • Nestlé Waters is the world's number one mineral water company.
  • In 2021, the company informed the French authorities of its use of banned treatments such as ultraviolet and activated carbon filters on some of its mineral waters.
  • The brands concerned are Perrier, Vittel, Hépar and Contrex, all owned by Nestlé.
Danone finds buyers for its two organic brands in the United States - 02/01/2024
  • Platinum Equity's portfolio of assets totals $47 billion.
  • The two brands Horizon Organic and Wallaby accounted for around 3% of Danone's sales in 2022, or $800 million.
  • Dairy products make up a large part of Danone's sales.
  • Danone has sold various parts of its business in different countries, including yoghurts in China and fresh dairy products in Brazil.
  • Danone recorded eight quarters of growth thanks to price increases, although volumes remained stable.
  • Danone succeeded in halting a steady decline in dairy sales that had lasted since 2015.
Danone sells its US organic dairy business to Platinum Equity - 02/01/2024
  • Danone has signed an agreement to sell its US organic dairy business to Platinum Equity.
  • The sale concerns the Horizon Organic and Wallaby businesses.
  • By 2022, Horizon Organic and Wallaby represented around 3% of Danone's total sales.
Danone, Antoine de Saint-Affrique's silent revolution - 26/09/2023
  • Investment of 50 million euros in medical nutrition plant in Opole, Poland.
  • Danone sales of 27.7 billion euros.
  • Sales growth from 2.5% to 3% on average per year (before Covid) to 7% to 8% by mid-2023.
  • Groupe Danone employs around 100,000 people.
  • Disposal of certain non-strategic activities (Vega, Horizon Organic and Wallaby in North America, Aqua d'Or waters in Denmark, etc.).
Danone: Efforts Rewarded - 26/07/2023
  • Danone's net income for the first half of fiscal 2023 jumped 48% to over €1 billion.
  • In Spain, Danone reduced the number of brands from 13 to 5.
  • Danone's operations in Russia were expropriated by the Kremlin in July 2023
  • The group had estimated losses linked to the departure from Russia at 1 billion euros.
  • 15% volume-driven growth for Mizone water in China.
  • Counter-performance: plant-based products in North America

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Nestlé Waters
Danone Groupe
Coca-Cola Groupe

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the bottled water market | Belgium

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