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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1. Market overview and definition

In France, bottled water activities include still water (spring water, mineral water and water made drinkable by treatment), sparkling water and flavored water.

The global market is enjoying sustained growth , with an estimated annual growth rate of 5.9% between 2022 and 2030. Bottled water sales are highest in China. In France, the table water market grew by 22.27% between 2015 and 2023, making it a dynamic market. What's more, France is well positioned in terms of trade, with a very large trade surplus.

The French bottled water market is concentrated around historic leaders of international stature such as Danone Eaux France, Nestlé Waters France and Neptune (a subsidiary of the Alma group), whose Cristaline brand is the market leader. Most bottled water is distributed via hypermarkets and supermarkets.

These players face two major obstacles: theecological argument and the price argument. Without recycling, bottled water has a considerable environmental footprint due to its plastic container. As a result, market players have to contend with increased competition from tap water, which is both more ecologically responsible and much more economical.

The scandal surrounding the illegal purification of bottled water is causing a stir in the market, putting the various production groups in an awkward position with consumers who may turn their backs on bottled water and opt for tap water instead.

1.2. growing global consumption

The size of the global bottled water market is estimated at $***.** billion in ****. This market is dynamic and evolving positively, and should continue to grow over the next few years, with an annual growth rate of *. *% between **** and ****.

Evolution of the size of the global bottled water market World, ****-****, in ...

1.3. A growing French market

Table water industry sales trend France, ****-****, in billions of euros Source: ****

Sales growth in the table water industry in France, from **** to ****, shows a positive trend, with a **.**% increase in sales over this period.

After a slight drop in ****, sales fluctuated until ****, before declining again in ****. Sales increase again in ...

1.4 Foreign trade in bottled water

Balance of trade for the bottled water market France, ****-****, in millions of dollars Source: ****

Over the period ****-****, the value of exports fell by *.**% from $***.* million in **** to $***.* million in **** .

Imports have also fallen slightly, from $***.* million in **** to $***.* million in ****.

Despite this decrease in trade, the coverage ratio is ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1. Water consumer preferences

Different types of water consumption France, ****, %, % Source : CIEAU In France in ****, the different types of water consumption reveal a marked preference for mixed water consumption, with **% of respondents declaring that they consume both tap and bottled water. The proportion of daily tap water drinkers(***). This variability in consumption preferences may be ...

2.2 Focus on the consumption and purchase of bottled still water

Plain waters account for a significant proportion of volume sales of bottled waters, with a market share of **.*% (***).

Breakdown of still water spending by age group and family situation France, ****, in Source: ****

The breakdown of still water spending by age group and family situation in France in **** reveals some significant trends. ...

2.3. French people increasingly sensitive to innovation and ecology

Replacing sodas, the French are turning to flavored waters to quench their thirst. This market is therefore experiencing strong growth, with sales up **% in volume and **.*% in value, in rolling annual growth to May **, ****. Sparkling waters are the fastest-growing in volume terms, but account for a smaller proportion than flat flavored ...

2.4 France's favourite bottled water brands

France's favorite still water brands France, March ****, in Source: ****

Cristaline emerges as the most popular brand, closely followed by Evian and Volvic. All three brands enjoy strong popularity among French consumers, with high approval ratings ranging from **.*% to **.*%.

France's favorite sparkling water brands France, March ****, in Source: ****

Perrier stands out as ...

2.5 Demand boosted by repeated heatwaves

Recurrent heatwaves have an impact on the bottled water market. Heatwaves, which are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change, have a direct effect on water consumption habits in France.

Number of heatwave days per **-year period France, ****-****, in number of days Source: ****

Analysis of the number of ...

3 Market structure

3.1. value chain

The bottled water value chain begins with underground water collection, or with surface water for water that has been treated. Spring and mineral waters are consumable as they are, and undergo little treatment (***). Disinfection is prohibited. Water that has been made drinkable by treatment, on the other hand, must be disinfected ...

3.2 Number of companies and number of employees

Growth in the number of establishments registered under activity ****A "Table water industry" France, ****-****, in number of establishments Source: ****

The evolution of the number of establishments registered under activity ****A "Table water industry" in France from **** to **** shows a general stability, with a slight variation observed over this period. The ...

3.3 A highly concentrated market

Looking at the water market, we can see that it's fairly concentrated. Three groups hold more than three-quarters of the market: Neptune and Nestlé Waters, with **.*% each, and Danone, with **.*%.

Market share of leading water brands France, ****, in Source: ****

The market is divided between Danone, Nestlé and Neptune, for both still ...

3.4 Distribution mainly through supermarkets

Bottled water is distributed via three main channels: supermarkets for home consumption, the catering trade for consumption in bars and restaurants, and other retail outlets (***).

Market share in value of still water distribution channels France, ****, % Source: ****

The chart above highlights the dominance of large traditional retailers such as hypermarkets and supermarkets, ...

3.5 A market impacted by the vagaries of the weather

The bottled water industry in France is facing increasing challenges due to the vagaries of the climate, particularly water shortages which have intensified in recent years due to drought.

According to data collected, nearly * billion liters of mineral water are drawn from France's underground aquifers every year[***]. However, since the beginning ...

3.6 Illegal water purification techniques on the French market

It all began in December ****, following a report of fraud within the Source: ****

following this report from an employee at an Alma Group factory, the Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes (***) launched an investigation. The investigation revealed that the company ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1. The different bottled waters available

The range of bottled waters available on the French market is fairly varied, with still waters, sparkling waters, flavored waters, etc. Still waters are the most widely sold in France (***).

The different still waters :

Types of water Characteristics Examples Mineral waters Underground in origin, they are bottled at their source. Natural ...

4.2. Bottled water prices on the rise

Consumer price index for mineral and spring waters France, ****-****, index base *** in **** Source: ****

The consumer price index for mineral and spring waters in France, for the period **** to ****, shows significant fluctuations.

Initially set at *** in ****, the index showed slightly downward variations until ****. However, from **** onwards, an increase is observed, with ...

4.3 Bottled water renews itself

More environmentally-friendly bottles

Since the ****s, plastic water bottles have been made entirely from PET (***), a fully recyclable material. Once sorted, crushed and melted to form granules, the bottles can be reused to make pens, clothing or other bottles.

However, the reality is quite different, as a large proportion of discarded ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Current regulations

Quality criteria

Water is subject to specific regulations(***) which distinguishes, under this term, three types of water according to their origin, their stability and the treatments to which they have been subjected:

natural mineral water ; spring water ; water made potable by treatment.

Three types of bottled water:

Water made drinkable by ...

5.2 Recent regulations concerning plastic bottles

Regulators are also trying to reduce the ecological impact of plastic bottles. In line with the EGalim law and the European directive adopted in March ****, several deadlines have been set to reduce the environmental impact of plastic bottles.

The EGalim law banned the use of plastic water bottles for school catering ...

6 Positioning the players

6. Segmentation

  • Alma Sources (Groupe Alma - Neptune)
  • Ogeu Groupe
  • Nestlé Waters
  • Cristaline
  • Abatilles Eaux Minérales d'Arcachon
  • Mont Roucous
  • Hepar (Nestlé Waters)
  • Fiji Water
  • Evian (Danone Groupe)
  • Volvic (Danone Groupe)
  • Badoit (Danone)
  • Perrier (Nestlé)
  • Contrex (Nestlé Waters)
  • Les Thermes de Vittel
  • Fiée Des Lois (Intermarché Groupe)

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Share of worldwide bottled water sales volume
  • Trends in the size of the global bottled water market
  • Percentage of French people who drink bottled water
  • Market share of bottled water sales by value
  • Volume and value of bottled water sales vs N-1
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Latest news

Intermarché suspends operations at its La Fiée des Lois water bottling plant in the Deux-Sèvres region of France - 19/02/2024
  • Fiée des Lois is located in Prahecq (Deux-Sèvres).
  • Fiée des Lois markets its waters under the Fiée des Lois and Premiers Prix brands.
  • The company produces 100 million liters of wine and 45 million bottles of water every year.
  • The plant employs some 150 people.
  • The plant achieved sales of 167.5 million euros in 2022.
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.
Volvic aims to reduce groundwater withdrawals - 19/10/2023
  • Volvic is the Danone group's largest mineral water production site in France.
  • The site employs 1,300 people.
  • The Volvic, Evian and Badoit brands account for 16% of the group's sales of 4.5 billion euros.
  • Between 2017 and 2022, Danone has reduced water consumption at the Volvic site by 360 million liters by modernizing its bottling lines.
  • By 2026, half of the agricultural land located in the four catchment areas for Danone's natural mineral waters in France will be committed to this program.
  • By 2025, 100% of Volvic bottles will be made of recycled and recyclable plastic, and Evian will follow in March 2024.
Vittel thermal baths perpetuated by Banque des territoires - 24/05/2023
  • Club Med focuses on the Hotel l'Ermitage
  • France Thermes will manage the Grand Hôtel and spa under a public service delegation agreement. The group, which employs 1,100 people and will generate sales of €66 million by 2022, plans to increase the number of contract curists by a quarter and quadruple the number of visitors to its spa facilities.

Nestlé Waters cuts 200 jobs at Vittel, Hépar and Contrex - 17/05/2023
  • Nestlé Waters is cutting 171 jobs by the end of the year at its bottling plants in Vittel and Contrexéville (Vosges).
  • In 2019, around 100 positions had already been cut.
  • At present, the workforce stands at 721.
  • After the redundancy plan, the workforce is expected to fall to 550.
  • In 2005, there were 2,100 employees at these plants.
  • Nestlé Waters has decided to stop marketing Vittel in Germany in 2022.
  • The suspension of two of the six boreholes dedicated to Hépar water was announced in May.
  • The two suspended boreholes account for 60% of Hépar water production.
Volvic, victim of water consumption restrictions - 16/05/2023

2.33 billion liters of bottled water withdrawn by Danone in 2020

850 employees at Société des eaux de Volvic (SEV)

Annual rainfall deficit of 24% in the Volvic area in 2022

SEV authorized withdrawals for the period 2022-2024: 2.514 billion liters of water per year

5% reduction in Danone's monthly withdrawals due to prefectoral alert

Danone's actual consumption in 2020: 2.33 billion liters of water per year

Société des eaux de Volvic exports around 70% of its production, mainly to Europe.

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. :

Alma Sources (Groupe Alma - Neptune)
Ogeu Groupe
Nestlé Waters
Abatilles Eaux Minérales d'Arcachon
Mont Roucous
Hepar (Nestlé Waters)
Fiji Water
Evian (Danone Groupe)
Volvic (Danone Groupe)
Badoit (Danone)
Perrier (Nestlé)

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the bottled water market | France

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