Scottish water is making big waves

Love of local good for bottled water brands

BOTTLED water is big business for Scottish convenience retailers, and with the heavens opening on an almost daily basis, it’s unsurprising that there are plenty of local brands for customers to choose from.

Quoting figures from the IRI, Carol Saunder, head of customer marketing at Highland Spring, said plain bottled water grew by 12.1% for the 52 weeks to the end of January 2017, making it the “second biggest volume contributor within soft drinks” for convenience retailers.

Saunders added that within Scotland, Highland Spring saw a 7.4% increase in value sales for the same period, and the brand’s locally-sourced credentials could be helping in this regard.
“We’re very proud of our Scottish roots at Highland Spring and they form a very important part of our brand identity,” she said.

“Consumer interest in the provenance of food and drink is on the rise, and our research shows that shoppers do have an interest in provenance when it comes to bottled water.”
Saunders suggested that for consumers, provenance doesn’t just promise quality, it can also pick up points through a perceived reduction in environmental impact.

“Consumers are increasingly interested in the environmental impact and sustainable credentials of products they purchase, often choosing as local as possible as a result,” she said.
• Adrian Troy, marketing director at AG Barr, the firm behind Strathmore Scottish Spring water, reckons that provenance and locally sourcing are very much on the radar when consumers are making purchasing decisions.

“Provenance and product benefits are becoming increasingly important to consumers, particularly in relation to water,” said Troy.

“People are not only looking for water brands they know and trust, they are increasingly conscious about the source of the water which reinforces the provenance message.”

To take advantage of increased demand for local brands, Troy suggested that retailers ensure their entire soft drinks range is tailored to local tastes.

He said they should talk to their customers to find out what they want, stocking top performing brands in each category as well as brands tailored to regional and local tastes.