MILAN - With reference to the total modern distribution channels (hypermarkets, supermarkets, other self-service and discount outlets), at the end of August, IRI detected a strong growth of more than 7% of annual sale volumes of mineral water in Italy, which have now reached 8,545 million litres. The hot summer of 2015 certainly produced a strong drive in this direction, but one must also acknowledge that the current recovery in consumption has also contributed to the improvement in bottled water consumption. Overall, the growth in value has been more than 8%, thanks to the fact that the average prices have grown by around 1%. Beverfood.com Editions took a snapshot of the situation.
Italians like it smooth
Still mineral waters represent 71% of the total volume of the modern retail and are those that have better performed with a growth in 7.7% on an annual basis. Fizzy waters follow (12.4% of the total volume in modern retail), natural sparkling waters (11.3%) and lightly fizzy waters (5.3%).
In terms of sales breakdown in the different geographic areas, the North West leads with 28.9% of volume and 30.6% of value, followed by the South (Sardinia excluded) with a 27.8% in volume but only 23.7% in value, in consideration of the lower average price in Euros/litre. The Centre + Sardinia follow with 25.2% in volume and 26.4% in value, and, finally, the North East with 18.1% in quantity and 19.3% in value.
The relationship between Italians and mineral water
The volumes channelled by modern retail represent around 70% of total consumption, which for the same period can therefore be estimated at around 12.2 billion litres: therefore, for the first time, Italian pro capita consumption should break the 200 litre/ year threshold and actually reach the level of 203 litres/year per person. It is evident that mineral water is considered by Italians as a necessary beverage that cannot be renounced even at difficult financial times, with a healthier perception compared to fruit drinks and beverages, which are instead perceived as more hedonistic products, and, as such, more easily given up in moments of economic difficulty. Without forgetting, at the end, that mineral water in Italy does not cost much and therefore, despite its high levels of consumption, it amounts to an accessible expenditure for all economic strata.
Italy leads in the consumption of mineral waters
The Italian world record in mineral water consumption is confirmed, but we are surpassed by several other countries in the pro-capita consumption of bottled waters (minerals + treated), countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and, according to others, also Mexico and Thailand. In Europe, the country that is closest to us in consumption is Germany, which is now getting closer and closer to our pro-capita consumption (144 litres in 2014, according to Mineralwasser).
di Alessandro Michielli