UK's bottled water market
According to Statista 2.8 billion litres of bottled water* were consumed in the UK in 2019. This was a slight decline compared to 2018.
As of 2019 - approximately 7.3 million British consumers chose to purchase Danone's Evian brand making it the most popular bottled water brand on the UK market. Highland Spring was the 2nd most popular brand followed by Buxton Spring coming in 3rd.
The entire market worth for bottled water was over £1.6 billion in 2019. Between 2013 and 2019 the bottled water market has grown by £569 billion.
Approximately 85% of bottles use for bottled water were made from plastic in 2019.
What is Smart Water?
Glaceau Smart Water, the premium branded and high priced bottled water from Coca-Cola made its way onto the UK market around 2014.
According to their website…
GLACÉAU Smartwater is made from British spring water which is vapour-distilled before electrolytes are added. It has a distinctive, crisp, clean taste and is produced and bottled in Morpeth, Northumberland.
To make GLACÉAU Smartwater, Coca-Cola European Partners evaporate spring water, condense the vapour and then add just the right amount of electrolytes before bottling.
Smart Water’s ingredients
Spring Water, Electrolytes: Calcium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Bicarbonate.
Smart Water’s advertises with descriptive and positive words like clear thinking, fitness, mindfulness, adventure, sport style, well-being.
Manufacturing Smart Water
To get Smart Water, the spring water goes through an industrial process called distillation which uses a lot of electricity. Approximately 78 calories of energy is used to vaporise 1 litre of water. They boil the spring water until it turns into vapour and then condense it back into liquid before adding in the calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Any impurities present are removed. This includes all of the good nutrients naturally present in water such as calcium, magnesium and potassium.
So, the manufacturers of Smart Water effectively remove the good stuff and then put it back in.
Health benefits of Smart Water
It is not proven that distilled water is healthier than filtering your own tap water. WHO investigated the health effects of demineralised water in 1982, and its experiments in humans found that demineralised water increased diuresis and the elimination of electrolytes – with decreased serum potassium concentration.
Magnesium, calcium and other nutrients in water can help to protect against nutritional deficiency.
Purified water lacks minerals and ions such as calcium that play key roles in biological functions such as in nervous system homeostasis and are normally found in potable water.
Here’s what we like and dislike about smart water for the UK market.
• Coca-Cola invested £3.5bn in the production facility at Morpeth, Northumberland, which is brilliant for employment in that county.
• Smart Water encourages people to drink water instead of still or carbonated soft drinks that are packed full of refined sugar, or the diet drinks brimming with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.
• Smart Water is packaged in plastic bottles that are 100% recyclable using Coca-Cola’s plant bottled technology. According to the Smart Water website – ‘Plant Bottle is the first ever fully recyclable plastic bottle made partially from plants, rather than fossil fuels.’ The plastic bottles are produced using sugar can residue instead of petroleum, which reduces carbon dioxide emissions. *see downsides
• The distillation process removes chlorine, fluoride, limescale and other contaminants. *see downsides
• Despite the innovative Plant Bottle technology, the plastic bottles are still single use plastic. The very thing we’re discouraged to use due to the devastating environmental impact.
• It is ecologically unsound to drink Smart Water. The spring water has to go through an industrial process that requires a significant amount of electricity to be consumed.
• All of the good minerals in the water are removed during the distillation process. They then add calcium, magnesium and potassium back in ‘just the right amounts’. What is the point? What are the right amounts?
• It is expensive. You’re paying a premium price for water and Coca-Cola are making a whacking great profit out of you.
What’s the alternative to Smart Water?
The sale of drinking water filters and mains water filters is set to increase further as more and more people look at ways to reduce household costs and have a more positive impact on their environment.
This is also true of the increased use of reusable drinking water bottles. Over a 1/3rd of people use water filter products and reusable water bottles are used by nearly 2/3rds of people.
Install a drinking water filter that will save you money in the long term.
You can filter your own tap water to suit your personal requirements based on the water in your local area. You can find out what’s in your water free of charge from your water company. If it’s not published on your water company’s website you can ask them to provide it.
Once you’ve installed a drinking water filter you can fill up your reusable water bottle with your own filtered water as often as you like.
Save money and save the planet.
We offer advice on a wide range of water filters. We listen to what your needs are and we meet those needs with our products.
Contact us today to discover how we can help you.
* Bottled water is defined as packaged water still, packaged water sparkling and Bulk/Home or Office delivery water.
** Covid-19 has severely disrupted the bottled water market in the UK, particularly impacting the high-value impulse sales throughout the key spring and summer months of 2020. The loss of retail sales will hit sales further. Mintel, the global market research and market insights agency, expects the total market value to fall by 28% to £1.48 billion in 2020.