The Bottled Water industry is still in an expansionary/growth stage. In 2005 the bottled water industry accounted for $70 billion, and is expected to reach $140 billion by the year 2020. Advertising budgets are very heavy in companies such as Pepsi (Aquafina), and are positive indicators of the current [growth] stage in the product’s lifecycle. However, the bottled water industry is currently experiencing a skewing of profitability numbers (compared with last-year-to-date numbers) due to a shift in production from bulk to bottled water.
A new and rapidly growing trend in the bottled water industry is the production of premium-priced “enhanced waters,” which competes on the product category level, and increases profits dramatically when purchased over traditional [non-premium] bottles of water. The aggressive advertising campaigns for bottled water and premium-priced “enhanced waters” coupled with health-related trends provide for a greater proportion of market-share for water companies who utilize their ability to expand their product line on the generic competition level. II.
Four Types of Competition (& Competitors) for the Bottled Water Industry: Competition is the driving force in any and every industry. There are four different types of competition which, [each] in their own way, affect the sales of any given industry. This section of this paper will analyze the four different types of competition, and how each type affects the market share of the bottled water industry. The typical bottled drinking water’s product form competition includes but is not limited to: Fiji, Evian, Arrowhead, Sparklett’s, Dasani, Dannone, and Aquafina water.
All of these companies directly compete at the consumer level for the same market-share of the same product line. The typical bottled drinking water’s product category competition includes but is not limited to: Cold drinks; “Health Oriented Thirst Quenchers:” [Almost any] water, orange juice, VitaminWater, Sobe [sport] water, Propel, Gatorade, SmartWater, etc. All of these products directly compete at the consumer level for the same product category of [health- oriented] thirst quenchers. The typical bottled drinking water’s generic competition of beverages includes but is not limited to:
lemon-limes, juices, sodas, diet soda, fruit flavored sodas, colas, diet colas, coffee, tea, wine, beer, etc. All of these products directly compete at the consumer level for the same generic beverages category. The typical bottled drinking water’s budget competition includes but is not limited to: fast-food, ice-cream, video rentals, magazines, video games, etc. All of these products directly compete at the consumer level for the scarce resource that is money which is spent by the consumer, on different categories of products to satisfy his/her wants/needs.
The most important types of competition on which to focus are the most direct types of competition: product form and product category. Generic competition and budget competition may not be neglected, however, because they are still forms of competition fighting for the same scarce dollar(s) in the consumer’s discretion. As a result, when considering a new product line, the first two must be considered as more direct forms of competition, and although the latter two must be considered, advertising campaigns are not built primarily around them. III. Industry Analysis:
Bottled water category volume growth continued to be strong (+20. 1%), despite a +19. 5% comparison last year. Category pricing growth was +. 07% against a +1. 6% comparison last year. However, the overall water pricing category has been skewed by the shift from bulk to bottled production, and by premium-priced “enhanced waters” (such as Vitamin Water, Propel, and Life Water) which are increasing rapidly as a percentage of category mix. Average water pricing for some of the largest brands is down -6% this year-to-date, versus -7% in 2005, a -5% decline in 2004, and a +1% increase in 2000. Total Pepsi pricing was down 13.
8% in the period reflecting a 14% decline for Aquafina and an 8% decline for Propel. Aquafina pricing had shown signs of stabilizing over the previous few periods and actually turned positive for two months in a row. Total Pepsi water volume grew 57%, driven by a 27% increase from propel and a 61% increase for Aquafina. Total Coke pricing was down 9. 8% (against a -6. 8% comparison to last year) driven by a 20. 9% decline for Dasani. Total Coke volume increased 28. 8% versus a very tough +44. 4% increase from last year-to-date. Sales for Dasani grew 26. 2% (versus a 38% increase last year-to-date) driven by a 59.
6% volume increase. The bottled water category continues to be driven by increasing promotional activity, which hit a 5 year high in the most recent period reflecting the Memorial Day weekend promotions. Pepsi’s volume sold on promotion increased to 82% (an all-time high for Pepsi’s water business) from 74% in the previous period. Coke’s percentage of volume sold on promotion declined slightly to 70% from 73% in the previous period, but was up versus the company’s 66% average over the last year. On a year-over-year basis, the percentage of volume sold on promotion in the water category continues to trend higher.
Given lower margins and packaging cost pressures, this level of promotional activity my not be sustainable in order to maintain water category profitability in the long run. From a historical perspective, Pepsi’s promotional activity in the water category has been greatly more aggressive than Coke (in the same category), as these activities have driven fairly consistent volume share gains for Pepsi (although not necessarily at the expense of Coke). Over the past five years, Pepsi’s promotional activity as a percentage of volume has outpaced Coke’s by 6%, on average, and that has driven positive volume share gains almost any month.
In the most recent period, Pepsi’s promotional activity as a percentage of volume outpaced Coke by 12%, mainly sourcing from private label. While profitability of this volume is another question, given the level of Pepsi’s promotion relative to the closest competitor, it’s clear the company ahs no intention of ceding market share in the water category. Additionally, in order to better understand where/who to market the water to, consumption on a regional level must be better understood. Below are the 2005 bottled water consumption figures [by region]. 2005 Bottled Water Consumption