What you need to know

The bottled water and drink mix market has seen great success from recent health trends. However, consumers’ continued recovery from the economic recession and perceptions about possible environmental effects continue to challenge the category. This increases competition in the market, encouraging tap water consumption, interest in reusable vessels and filtration systems, and private label offerings. However, bottled water and drink mixes continue to appeal to consumers for their convenience and innovation in providing a healthy drink replacement for sugary carbonated sodas and juices. Manufacturers must continue to address the category’s drawbacks, which include sustainability and price sensitivity. However, bottled water and beverage mix companies also can take advantage of recent trends favoring low- and no-calorie beverages with new flavors and functional innovation.

This report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Bottled Water – US, March 2013, as well as the May 2012, November 2009, December 2008, December 2007, May 2006, October 2005, and December 2003 reports of the same title.


For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

Mintel covers the US market for bottled water as defined by the IBWA (International Bottled Water Association). The IBWA defines bottled water as water sealed in a sanitary container to be sold for human consumption. This water may be artificially purified or tapped from a natural spring, may be still or sparkling (carbonated), flavored or unflavored. For this report, Mintel has segmented the bottled water market as follows:

  • Convenience/PET still bottled water – including flavored and unflavored

  • Sparkling bottled water – including flavored and unflavored

  • Jug/bulk still bottled water

Private label still and sparkling waters are shown as separate segments due to lack of sufficient data to allocate them to the different segments. In addition, this report includes a special supplement on the sales, marketing strategies, and consumer use of powdered and liquid beverage mix products, including Crystal Light and MiO, as it relates to water consumption.

Excluded from this report are water sold from bulk dispensers or coolers; water sold in foodservice; and home or office water delivery.

Value figures throughout this report are at rsp (retail selling prices) excluding sales tax unless otherwise stated.

Data sources

Sales data

  • Market Size and Forecast and Segment Performance – Total retail sales based on Information Resources, Inc. InfoScan Reviews; US Census Bureau, Economic Census; BevNet.com

  • Retail Channels – based on Information Resources, Inc. InfoScan Reviews; US Census Bureau, Economic Census; BevNet.com; except supermarket and drug store sales, which are based on Information Resources, Inc. InfoScan Reviews.

  • Leading Companies and Brand Share sections – based on MULO sales data from Information Resources, Inc. InfoScan Reviews. MULO is defined as Multi Outlet, representative of the following channels: total US Grocery, Mass, total US Drug, total Walmart, Dollar, Military, and Club. Note that the values shown in this section differ from the Market Size and Forecast and Segment Performance sections of this report. Companies and brands sales data encompass only sales through MULO channels, while Market Size and Forecast and Segment Performance sales cover the entire retail market.

Consumer survey data

For the purposes of this report, Mintel commissioned exclusive consumer research through GMI to explore consumer consumption of/attitudes and behaviors toward bottled water and cold drink mixes. Mintel was responsible for the survey design, data analysis, and reporting. Fieldwork was conducted in January 2014 among a sample of 2,000 adults aged 18+ with access to the internet.

Mintel selects survey respondents so that they are proportionally balanced to the entire US adult population based on the key demographics of gender, age, household income, and region. Mintel also slightly oversamples, relative to the population, respondents that are Hispanic or Black to ensure an adequate representation of these groups in the survey results. Please note that Mintel surveys are conducted online and in English only. Hispanics who are not online and/or do not speak English are not included in the survey results.

Mintel has also analyzed data from Experian Marketing Services, using the Simmons NCS (National Consumer Study), the Simmons NHCS (National Hispanic Consumer Study), the Simmons NCS Teen Study, and the Simmons NCS Kids Study.

The Experian Marketing Services, Simmons NCS/NHCS was carried out during July 2012 to September 2013 and the results are based on the sample of 24,219 adults aged 18+, with results weighted to represent the US adult population. The Experian Marketing Services, Simmons NCS Teen Study was conducted during May 2013 to June 2013 and based on a sample of 1,886 teenagers aged 12-17, with results weighted to represent the US teen population. The Experian Marketing Services, Simmons NCS Kids Study was conducted during May 2012 to June 2013 and based on a sample of 2,147 kids aged 6-11, with results weighted to represent the US kid population.

While race and Hispanic origin are separate demographic characteristics, Mintel often compares them to each other. Please note that the responses for race (White, Black, Asian, Native American, or other race) will overlap those that also are Hispanic, because Hispanics can be of any race.

Abbreviations and terms


The following is a list of abbreviations used in this report.

CPI Consumer Price Index
GNPD Global New Products Database
MULO Multi Outlet, representative of the following channels: total US Grocery, Mass, total US Drug, total Walmart, Dollar, Military, and Club
NCS/NHCS National Consumer Study/National Hispanic Consumer Study (Experian Marketing Services)
rsp Retail selling price

Generations are discussed within this report, and they are defined as:

World War II/Swing generations Members of the WWII generation were born in 1932 or before and are aged 82 or older in 2014. Members of the Swing Generation were born between 1933 and 1945 and are aged 69-81 in 2014.
Baby Boomers The generation born between 1946 and 1964. In 2014, Baby Boomers are between the ages of 50 and 68.
Generation X The generation born between 1965 and 1976. In 2014, Gen Xers are between the ages of 38 and 49.
Millennials* Born between 1977 and 1994, Millennials are aged 20-37 in 2014.
iGeneration Born between 1995 and 2007, members of iGen are aged 7-19 in 2014.
Emerging generation The newest generation began in 2008 as the annual number of births declined sharply with the recession. In 2014 members of this as-yet-unnamed generation are younger than 7.

* also known as Generation Y or Echo Boomers

In order to provide an inflation-adjusted price value for markets, Mintel uses the CPI to deflate current prices. The CPI is defined as follows:

CPI The Consumer Price Index is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services.

The CPI and its components are typically used to adjust other economic series for price changes and to translate these series into inflation-free dollars. Examples of series adjusted by the CPI include retail sales, hourly and weekly earnings, and components of the national income and product accounts. In addition, and in Mintel reports, the CPI is used as a deflator of the value of the consumer’s dollar to find its purchasing power. The purchasing power of the consumer’s dollar measures the change in the value to the consumer of goods and services that a dollar will buy at different dates.

The CPI is generally the best measure for adjusting payments to consumers when the intent is to allow consumers to purchase, at today’s prices, a market basket of goods and services equivalent to one that they could purchase in an earlier period. It is also the best measure to use to translate retail sales into real or inflation-free dollars.

Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics definition.
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