UK consumers have increased their consumption of bottled water at the fastest rate in Europe over the past five years.

The association of drinking plenty of water with a healthy lifestyle are behind the growing demand for bottled water, a new report from independent market analyst Datamonitor has said.

"Bottled water is a safe and easily accessible drink that consumers choose to stay refreshed and hydrated. And it is growing in popularity as people choose it over other soft drinks because it does not contain calories, caffeine, or artificial colours," said Nick Beevors, consumer markets analyst at Datamonitor and author of the report.
 
Per capita consumption is currently highest in countries where the practice of drinking bottled water is more established such as in Italy (234 litres per person per year), France (142.5) and Spain (143.2). However, countries with traditionally lower sales in bottled water such as the UK are seeing extraordinary growth.

UK consumers drank, on average, 41 litres of bottled water per person in 2007. In the UK, per capita volume growth was a CAGR of 8% between 2002 and 2007, the fastest growth in Europe, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 7% between 2007 and 2012. This would result in the average UK consumer drinking 57.8 litres of bottled water per year in 2012.