British consumers have been drinking bottled water at a faster rate than any other European country over the past five years, according to a report by independent market analyst Datamonitor. However, the UK lags behind Italy, France and Spain in terms of overall volume.
On average, British people drank 41 litres per person in 2007, which represents a compound annual growth rate of 8% between 2002 and 2007 – the fastest in Europe. Datamonitor predicts this will rise to 57.8 litres by 2012.
Per capita consumption is highest in countries where the drinking of bottled water is more established, such as Italy, at 234 litres per person per year, France (142.5 litres) and Spain (143.2 litres).
The increase comes despite environmental concerns associated with bottled water, and high-profile campaigns such as The Evening Standard’s Water on Tap scheme to make tap water freely available in London restaurants and bars.
Datamonitor consumer markets analyst Nick Beevors says bottled water is chosen in favour of soft drinks, rather than tap water. He says: “It is growing in popularity as people choose it over other soft drinks because it does not contain calories, caffeine, or artificial colours.”