The bottled water lords and the inflation ‘fund’

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By Giorgos Lampiris

One market that is directly affected by the inflationary spike of 2022 is that of bottled water in Greece. The product, which maintains a wide presence in the Greek market both in supermarkets and in the HoReCA market (catering, hotels), moved downwards in sales volume in the first five months, as shown by market measurement data available to the Capital.gr. Sources who know the data of this market in detail point out that the picture presented in the five months continued to be similar during the months that followed – June, July and August – as bottled water, a cheap product in the Greek market – in comparison with countries abroad – also saw its price increase, which was reflected more clearly in supermarkets. The reason is that in supermarkets any increase due to the smaller profit margin and lower price that bottled water has in supermarkets, any price change on the shelf is immediately apparent. It is, however, a highly competitive market, which is characterized by strong offers in the six 1.5 liter bottles, and which, apart from the three main players in the branded product – Zagori, Viko, Theoni -, the largest quantities sold concern private water label where, for example, it is bottled by some of the aforementioned on behalf of supermarket chains. This practically means that, for example, the Continental Bottling Industry (Vikos), bottles the table water “Gargaro” on behalf of the My market chain, but also private label water for Lidl Greece with the label “Table Water”. Accordingly, Chitos SA produces “Marata” table water on behalf of the Sklavenitis chain.

Strong impact of energy costs and transport for industry

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Like all the goods sold on supermarket shelves, the bottled water industry is also affected by energy costs, transport costs which, especially during the summer period, skyrocketed significantly due to the actually stronger demand that occurs during this particular time period compared to the rest of the year.

The shrinking of the sales volume in the Greek market

NielsenIQ data available to Capital.gr show that the entire bottled water market shrank in the five-month period of 2022 in sales volume by -1.2% to 279.55 million liters for the whole of Greece, including of discount chains such as Lidl Hellas but also of smaller points such as convenience stores.

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A significant percentage of sales in volume of bottled water was lost from private label water, which is also the first in volume of sales in Greece, as the loss was of the order of -7.8%, with the quantities coming down to 56,894,656 liters. Theoni, which is the third player in branded bottled water in terms of volume sales, also lost a significant percentage of sales in volume, with a loss of 12.8% in this year’s five months compared to the corresponding period of 2021. Regarding the two first players in the market in terms of sales volume, Zagori and Vikos during the same period moved upwards with percentages of 3.7% and 4.5% respectively.

The main players and their sales in the five months of 2022

Then, based on the same data, the ten largest players of the Greek market based on the sales of their branded product in Greek supermarkets are shown and in parentheses the change they presented in this year’s five months January – May compared to that of 2021. At the same time it is mentioned and private label, where the largest sales volumes are recorded.

Five months Jan-May 2022: The top ten +1 in volume sales in Greek supermarkets (in liters) – In parentheses the change compared to 5 months 2021

1.Private label: 56.89 million (-7.8%)
2. Zagori: 55.14 million (3.7%)
3.Vikos: 49.97 million (4.5%)
4. Theoni: 18.72 million (-12.8%)
5. Korpi: 17.83 million (-3.6%)
6.Aura: 10.31 million (11.4%)
7. Zaros: 9.18 million (-5.9%)
8. Kostilata Springs: 8.28 million (21.8%)
9. Samaria: 7.21 million (0.6%)
10. Jupiter: 6.74 million (13.9%)
11. Rouvas: 5.85 million (-21.8%)

Source: Capital

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