The Sparkling Water Market

The sparkling water -also called carbonated water, soda water or fizzy water- is a subcategory of bottled water. According to the definition of the International Bottled Water Association, “sparkling bottled water is known as bottled water fortified with carbon dioxide.” The carbon dioxyde is the source of the process called carbonation, and this is the reason of the fizzy effect in the water.

Overview of the Sparkling Bottled Water Market:

The market for sparkling water has been boosted by the rise health awareness. The high incidence of obesity has led to a shift from carbonated soft drinks to sparkling water: it is free of calories and it meets the healthy conscience of customers.

Concerning the geographical segmentation, the Americas are the leader of the global sparkling water in terms of market share and would reach almost $30 million by 2020. This dynamic trend is permitted by the shift of consomption to tackle the issue of obesity but also by the rise of consomption in the emerging market like Mexico and Brazil.

In Europe,  the economic crisis slowed the market and and we can observe a flat growth. However, culturally  the sparkling water is known for its digestive qualities, and people use to consume it for this reason. Then in France, the introduction of taxes on soft drinks has also stimulated the european market.

The Asian and MEA market has profited of the rapid industrialisation and changing lifestyle in emerging countries such as Thailand, China, India, Egypt or Saoudi Arabia. The hot and humide climate also pushes consumers to drink more beverage. Nowadays, it is the fastest growing region for this market.

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If we focus on the french market, four main actors share the sparkling water market:

  • Danone with Salvetat and Badoit
  • Nestlé with Perrier, San Pellegrino and Quezac
  • Rozane Group with Rozana, Vichy Celestins, Saint Yorre and Saint Armand
  • Hypermarkets own label

Main distribution channels are Hyper and Supermarkets, Restaurants and cafés, bars and nightclubs and vending machine. Concerning the market shares in hyper and supermarkets, as we can see below, Perrier leads the way with 21% of market share followed by Salvetat, Badoit, own labels and San Pellegrino.


Zoom on three old brand:

Perrier, Badoit and San Pellegrino can be considered as the most known brands, profiting of a strong brand image but with three different positioning.


Badoit has built its image around the high gastronomy as “the champagne of the water with fine bubbles.” They play with the French identity of the brand, to associate the product to the french gastronomy. That is why they called the famous French Chef Thierry Marx for their advertisement campaign.

Perrier has a urban and trendy brand image: it is more fun and festive than the others. They use a provocatrice and young communication to develop their activities in bars and nightclub: the brand is now easily associate to many cocktails and known as a dynamic brand for young adult. The distinguished tennis tournament Roland Garros has helped them to strengthen this image of young and dynamic while keeping an elegant image. In France, it is very common and well regarded to order a “Perrier Citron” in a bar. On contrary, it is very less common to see a person order a Pellegrino in a bar. Perrier is also known for its very provocatrice advertising making allusions to sex as in the famous ad Perrier’s “caressing the bottle”. It permits them to keep the image of a crazy and sexy brand over the years.

San Pellegrino inspires the Dolce Vita and invites you to experience the Italian art of living. They use the cinema to associate the brand to the celebrities and to affirme an authentic and glamorous brand image. Live in Italian means to always strive for excellence even in the most simple things.

The emergence of a new competitor shaking up the whole market:

SodaStream is a sparkling water makers, it permits to transform tap water into sparkling water and it is significantly less expensive than  bottled water. After get trough a identity crisis, trying to replicate the flavors of the giant of the soda industry, they focus on what customers want: the sparkling water. They switched gears and change the slogan on the packaging “Home Soda Maker” by “Water Made Exciting”. So, they decided to put the emphasis  on the homemade sparkling water makers and the ecological aspect.

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Indeed, with eliminating the use of multiple plastic bottles they develop an environmentally friendly strategy denouncing the use of bottled water and tackle directly their competitors. We can see it in their famous TV campaign “Shame or Glory”, they don’t hesite to use humour to denounce the waste generation. They refer to the famous “walk of shame” scene of Games of Thrones, in which Cercei Lannister is forced to a walk of nude through the street, pursued by Unella crying out “Shame!” and ringing a bell to attract people’s attention. This video went viral on the social medias.

Now, the company proves that it is possible to make a breakthrough in a very concentrated market by becoming one of the largest sparkling water distribution companies in the world in volume. This phenomenon should not end there…



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