France is regarded by many as the cradle of natural mineral water. Yet spring water has now overtaken mineral water in retail sales volume, according to the latest Scantrack statistics for hypermarkets and supermarkets during the 12 months to June 2014.
Still spring water had a 41.5% share of total water volume, compared with 39.0% for still mineral water. Sparkling waters accounted for 17.6% and flavoured waters the remaining 1.9%.
In value terms, however, still mineral water continues to outsell still spring water by a factor of more than two to one. Still mineral water’s value share was 44.3%, compared with just 20.1% for still spring water. Sparkling waters were a far stronger 29.5% and flavoured waters 6.1%.
All water segments have returned to growth in France, with total volume up 4.1% and value up 2.5%, led by sparkling flavoured water volume up 22.3% and still flavoured water value up 22.5%.
Plus ça change, plus ce n’est pas la même chose.