Bottled water consumption has risen in Australia, with Mount Franklin, Coles Natural Spring Water and Pump Pure Water the most popular, recent study has found.
The findings from Roy Morgan Research revealed that in 2015, about 5.3 million people (or 27.1 per cent of Aussies 14+) drank bottled water in any given seven days – a 7.5 per cent increase over 2014, when 4.9 million Australians drank it in the same period.
Mount Franklin was consumed by nearly 40 per cent of all bottled-water drinkers in an average seven days. Coles Natural Spring Water is a very distant second (14.0 per cent ), just ahead of Pump Pure Water (12.8 per cent ).
“A theme emerges pretty quickly when we look at Australia’s 10 most widely consumed bottled waters: brand names that evoke images of nature (Mount Franklin, Cool Ridge, Peats Ridge, Fiji Water) or purity (Aqua Pura, Coles Natural Spring Water),” said Andrew Price, general manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research.
“Selling something we can drink for free from the tap is a big ask, but by emphasising the natural and untouched quality of their water, these brands are implying (without stating outright) that they are better for the consumer than tap water.”
Despite its fame for being used by supermodels and Hollywood actresses to wash their hair, Evian is only the tenth-most popular bottled water in Australia, consumed by 1.6 per cent of the population in an average seven days.
Price said: “The challenge for brands in such a crowded market is to stand out on a shelf full of blue plastic bottles with similar labels and virtually indistinguishable contents – to distinguish themselves from a sea of competitors.”
Overall, a greater proportion of Australian women (29.7 per cent) than men (24.5 per cent) drink bottled water in an average seven days, and this pattern is evident across most of the top 10 brands. Cool Ridge and Fiji Water have the most pronounced gender skew towards women, while only Peats Ridge is consumed by slightly more men than women.
Australians under 50 are markedly more likely than older Aussies to drink bottled water, with its popularity peaking among the 25-34 year-old bracket (a third of whom drink it in an average week).
Around the country, bottled water consumption is most widespread in Western Australia, where 30.2 per cent of residents drink it in an average seven days. NSW is close behind (29.0 per cent), whereas Tasmanians are below average at 22.3 per cent.