The turnover of the Italian mineral water market amounted to €2.8 billion in 2016, representing 1% growth compared to the previous year.
According to data from the Bevitalia 2017-2018 Yearbook, there were a total of 135 bottling companies operating in Italy last year, producing 255 mineral water brands.
Total production amounted to 14 billion litres, up from 13.8 billion the previous year. Of this, 12.65 billion litres were consumed in Italy, and the rest was exported.
With exports of €480 million, Italy is the second biggest mineral water exporter in the world, behind only France (€600 million), which is known for brands such as Evian (which is owned by Danone) and Perrier (Nestlé).
Natural water accounts for 68% of total bottled water consumption in Italy, followed by sparkling waters, which holds 18% of the market.
Most of last year's sales (69%) were achieved in hypermarkets, supermarkets and discount stores, followed by traditional retail outlets (10%) and the HoReCa channel (21%).
In terms of packaging, large PET bottles were responsible for 81% of sales, ahead of glass bottles (17%) and other types (2%).
The eight leading production groups (Sanpellegrino Nestlé Waters, San Benedetto, Fonti di Vinadio, Gruppo Norda, Lete, Ferrarelle, Cogedi and Spumador) account for 73.5% of the Italian market, or 10.29 billion litres.
Sanpellegrino group has confirmed its historical leadership position with turnover of €895 million and an 18.6% market share. In recent years, the company has completed a strategy of divesting regional businesses, focusing on its national and international brands, including San Pellegrino, Acqua Panna, Levissima, and Nestlé Vera.
San Benedetto, the second biggest water producer, posted a €592 million turnover last year and holds a 17.1% share. The bottler has continued with its territorial expansion, and now has six production units producing the San Benedetto, Guizza, Acqua di Nepi, Cutulo Rionero, Pura da Roccia and Antica Fonte da Salute brands.
Third-placed Fonti di Vinadio has one of the highest growth rates, achieving a turnover of around €300 million, while Ferrarelle reported that its turnover grew to €142 million.
Acqua Lete ended 2017 as a leading brand in the sparkling mineral water market, with a 23.2% market share.
Commenting on the results, the VP of the Italian Mineral Water Industry Association (Mineracqua), Ettore Fortuna, said that average annual consumption per head amounts to 20 litres, which means there is further room for growth in the sector.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine