March 2020: People swapping from natural source waters to diet fizzy drinks
Concerns have been raised by health experts after 2019 saw a decline in natural source water sales year on year, with the category losing out to diet fizzy drinks.
The decline in sales of natural source waters over the year, which can largely be put down to the key summer sales period being substantially cooler and wetter than the previous year, appears to have come at the same time as an increase in sales of diet fizzy drinks and energy drinks, with diet colas alone taking 6.5 million litres of sales from the natural source water category.
February 2020: Research shows term ‘single-use plastic’ is having negative impact and confusing consumers about what to recycle
Recent research conducted on behalf of the Natural Source Waters Association clearly shows the need to be careful of the terms and language used when talking about plastics and recycling. The subject is already complex enough for people who want to do the right thing, but they are further confused by catch all terms, some of which have become increasingly emotive, such as ‘single-use plastics’.
This confusion can lead to well-meaning people putting 100% recyclable PET plastic drinks bottles that can be turned into new drinks bottles into the general waste. Not only is this a waste of a valuable resource but it then ends up having to be incinerated for energy or even going to landfill.
December 2019: Research shows consumer preference for soft drinks over tap water
Research conducted on behalf of the Natural Source Waters Association reveals that consumers are more likely to choose a soft drink if natural source bottled waters are unavailable – rather than finding a water fountain or refill station.
When asked what they would do if they went into a shop looking to buy a natural source water, and it was not available, over 37% of all respondents said that they would buy another drink, which is likely to be less healthy. This rose to nearly 47% of 45 to 54 year olds. 19.5% said they would find another shop and only 22% said they would ask for tap or find a water fountain. 14% said they would go without a drink completely, again not good for overall health, and worryingly this rose to more than one in five in the over 55s.
November 2019: Greenpeace and EIA ‘Checking out on plastics II’ report’
In the run up to the release of Greenpeace and the EIA’s report, ‘Checking out on plastics II’, one of the report’s recommendations was trailed in some media. The focus of this trail was the amount of natural source water sold in supermarkets over the last year and a call for refill stations to be installed in supermarkets.
Whilst we support all ways to encourage choosing water for healthy hydration, tap water, which needs to undergo treatment to make it safe to drink, cannot replace natural source waters as they are fundamentally two different offerings.
October 2019: Natural Hydration Council renamed Natural Source Waters Association
Natural source water companies have relaunched their trade body, the Natural Hydration Council (NHC), as the Natural Source Waters Association (NSWA). The decision has been made to change the name so that it more closely reflects both the membership of the organisation and the work it does.
The Natural Hydration Council was set up ten years ago to promote water as the healthiest way to hydrate. Its members are all producers of natural source waters and represent about 60% of the water bought in the UK. (Brecon Carreg, Danone Waters, Harrogate Water Brands, Highland Spring Group, Montgomery Waters, Nestlé Waters, Shepley Spring and Wenlock Spring.)