What's the state of the bottled water market? A year ago, we reported that the economy and environmental pressure were putting pressure on the bottled water sector, and the days of double-digit annual growth was over. Further proof of the trend comes today with the release of Nestle SA's 2009 financial results. The financial press is reporting that the company's water business is struggling. But Martin Gelnar, writing for The Wall Street Journal's "The Source" blog, says there's still hope for the sector:
Public opinion may be against Nestle and other bottled water companies, but it is likely that environmental concerns will calm over time. Potentially more important is the fact that such discussions have little impact in emerging markets, where demand is expected to rise substantially in the next few years.Meanwhile, bottled water companies are working hard to reduce their environmental impact. Check out our report on the International Bottled Water Association's study of beverage packaging, which found:
- The average PET bottled water container weighed about 19 grams in 2000; by 2008, the average amount of PET in each bottle declined to about 13 grams.
- During the eight-year period, more than 1.3 billion pounds of PET resin was saved by the bottled-water industry through container lightweighting.
- In 2008 alone, the bottled water industry saved 445 million pounds of PET by reducing bottle weights.