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The Global Giants of the Bottled Water Business


This article is published in collaboration with Statista 

by Anna Fleck


A joint investigation by Le Monde newspaper and Radio France's investigative unit has revealed the widespread use of prohibited bottled water purification techniques by several major brands. According to information released last month, at least a third of French spring and mineral water brands are concerned, including those belonging to Nestlé Waters, which has admitted using ultraviolet and activated carbon filtration treatments in some of its waters (Perrier, Vittel, Hépar and Contrex) to maintain "their food safety" standards.


Regulations prohibit any disinfection of mineral waters, which must be of naturally high microbiological quality (unlike tap water). The French government has reportedly been aware of Nestlé's illicit practices since August 2021, and until now has tried to manage the crisis with the utmost discretion.


Along with Coca-Cola and Danone, Nestlé is one of the giants of the bottled water business. As the following infographic shows, two of the Swiss multinational's brands are among the eight most consumed in the world: Perrier and San Pellegrino, with a global market share of 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively. The Dasani brand of bottled still water, launched in 1999 by Coca-Cola, currently dominates the market, with a 12 percent global share, followed by the French brand Evian (9 percent), owned by the Danone group.


The bottled water market is proving extremely lucrative for the food industry. Over the past ten years, the volume of bottled water worldwide has increased by over 30 percent, and is expected to exceed 480 billion liters this year. At the same time, market sales have soared by almost 60 percent, and are expected to top $360 billion by 2024.


On the same subject: How popular is bottled water?


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