Mineral water bottlers project 20% growth

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The mineral market has witnessed an annual increase of 20%, after the very high temperatures registered in the summer, and consumers’ shift from table water to mineral water.
 
Consumption is again expected to rise by 20% this year, forecasts Iosif Nagy, chairman of SNAM (National Mineral Water Society). Adrian Teslovan, the marketing manager of Romaqua Group, the biggest domestic bottler of mineral water, also anticipates a similar rate.
 
Bottlers of mineral water with SNAM licences, which account for around 90% of the market, last year posted an 18% increase in terms of volume compared with 2006, according to SNAM data.
 
Taking into account the licenses granted by ANRM (National Agency of Mineral Resources) to bottlers Dorna Apemin and Apemin Tusnad, the market was estimated at over 1.25 billion liters in 2007. In terms of value, the domestic mineral water market could exceed 400m euros this year.
 
"I expect sales of mineral water bottled by European Drinks to increase by over 20%,” said Adrian Rotar, general manager of European Drinks, quoted by Ziarul financiar.
 
He specified that in the first four months of the year the company’s sales of non-carbonated mineral water rose by 27% against the same period in 2007. Last year, the company bottled 155 million liters of mineral water, according to SNAM data, higher than the volume previously forecast by the company’s representatives.
 
"This year, one of the market drivers could be producers’ bottling capacities, which will allow us to meet demand during peak periods, when very high temperatures are recorded,” Teslovan said.
 
According to him, disruptions in major stores can be avoided this year if demand is met during periods with high temperatures.
 
Last summer, demand took most bottlers by surprise because of the hot weather, making the year one of the best companies ever had.
 
In 2007, the high temperatures allowed Romaqua to launch the Aquatique brand without any promotional efforts. This is the third mineral water brand in Romaqua’s portfolio, after Borsec, the market leader, and Stanceni. The group wants to launch a fourth brand this year, and plans to invest in a new production facility near Miercurea Ciuc.
 
Domestically, Romaqua and European Drinks compete with Romanian producers such as Apemin Tusnad, Perla Harghitei, Bibco Biborteni and Rio Bucovina, as well as with Coca-Cola Hellenic Greek company, the bottler of Coca-Cola products in Romania.
 
On the domestic market, carbonated mineral water holds 54% in overall bottled volumes, down 1% on 2006, according to SNAM data for 2007.
 
Domestically, other segments of bottled waters also posted significant increases in 2007. La Fantana, which accounts for around 70% of the market of water bottled for water coolers, last year saw its sales advance by over 50% year-on-year.
 
The mineral water market has witnessed an annual increase of 20%, after the very high temperatures registered in the summer, and consumers’ shift from table water to mineral water.
Mineral water consumption is expected to rise by 20% this year. Domestically, other segments of bottled waters also posted significant increases in 2007. In terms of value, the domestic mineral water market could exceed 400 million euros this year.
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