Brands Report: Water

Bottled water hasn’t lost its sparkle, but the names have barely changed. Shay Waterworth reports

Water isn't the sexiest category, but it’s big business. As one report in the US suggests, the bottled water industry will be worth US$280bn by 2020 and therefore cannot go ignored – especially when the first drink served in the majority of top bars around the world is a glass of water. Of course, many bars will serve tap water from their own jugs to match the in-house style, but most will serve branded water – if no other reason, that it’s another revenue stream.

Among the best bars in the world, the list of most popular water brands has remained the same for four years now. San Pellegrino continues to lead the way for premium bottled water with 18% of polled bars saying it is their top choice. Acqua Panna and Perrier have completed the podium places over the same period of time. One of the most established names in the list of best-selling water brands is Evian, which has dropped one place to fifth – its large off-trade following perhaps means it simply isn’t cool enough for top bars.

Sparkling water remains the favoured style in bottled brands in the world’s best bars. In fact, the top three in the best-selling table over the past four years have all been sparkling – with Acqua Panna leapfrogging Perrier to take second place in 2018. Perrier, however, remains champion of the Top Trending brands thanks to its large US following. This year may shape up even better for Perrier. The brand received a major boost among millennials when Canadian singer Drake was unknowingly filmed with the water at a basketball match. It was one of the memes of the year with views numbering in the multiple millions.



The results of this report are the culmination of a questionnaire of 106 bars around the world, each cherry-picked to take part based on their performance in global bar awards. We aim to find out not only which brands sell best but also what’s trending. These two data sets give us an insight into the brands that are doing the most volume and the brands that are hot right now.

To read more on the methodology of the Brands Report click here.