Beverages: Bottled Water 2014

Samantha Oller, Senior Editor/Fuels, CSP

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Where the Gains Are

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 29, 2013

According to figures from Nielsen, convenience store bottled-water sales rose around 4% in 2013 by both dollars and units, with gallons up 3.1%. The segments leading the pack: single-serve PET, take-home multipacks and sparkling, which is benefiting from consumers seeking a healthful alternative to carbonated soft drinks. On the downturn: bulk and sweetened/enhanced water. IRI figures for bottled water, which include sweetened/enhanced varieties, show dollars up slightly and unit sales off 1.4%.

Water typeC-store sales
($ millions)
PCYAUnit Sales
Total category$3,113.00.2%2,005.0-1.4%

Source: IRI

Plain vs. Sweetened/Enhanced Water

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 28, 2013

Water typeC-store sales
($ millions)
PCYAUnit Sales
Plain Water    
Take-home multipack$236.43.7%53.82.0%
(less than 53 ounces)
Total category$2,393.94.1%1,573.23.9%
Sweetened/Enhanced Water$506.0-9.8%311.6-9.0%

Sources: The Nielsen Co., Nestlé Waters

Cross-Category Opportunity

Bottled water was the No. 1 item bought with a lunch sandwich, according to an analysis of POS data by Management Science Associates. The firm, which analyzed data from three c-store chains and a university’s foodservice program, found that bottled water was also a popular purchase with pizza (No. 7 out of top 10 categories), breakfast sandwiches (No. 10) and soups and salads (No. 2).

Bottled-Water Gallon Growth

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 28, 2013

After a 2009 spent largely in the red, c-store gallon sales of bottled water have grown from quarter to quarter. In 2013, gallons rose 3.1%, according to Nielsen.


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