UK: Consumers pick "sugary drinks" over tap water, says trade body
A fall in sales of bottled water in the UK is down to consumers buying more "sugary drinks" rather than switching to tap water, according to a recent report.
The National Hydration Council, a trade body set up last year by Danone Waters (UK & Ireland) Ltd, Highland Spring and Nestlé Waters UK, said today (20 April) that it is set to launch an advertising campaign in the country, in light of the research.
Citing Nielsen figures, the organisation claimed that UK bottled water sales fell by 7% last year, but that 71% of that decline came from people buying other soft drinks instead. "Rather than turning on the tap, people are turning to sugary drinks, and the switching equates to pouring an extra 1,700 tonnes of sugar and 6.8bn calories into the nation's diet," the council said.
"When people turn away from bottled water, they don't turn on the tap instead, rather they switch to sugary drinks," said Jeremy Clarke, director of the NHC. "We only drink 100ml each of bottled and tap water each day - less than one cup out of the eight cups of fluid a day we're supposed to be drinking."
The organisation's campaign uses the tagline: "You ought to drink more water", and includes photographs of hybrid images of people and animals to convey aspects of athleticism, concentration and good health.
The organisation is looking to turn consumers away from media campaigns decrying bottled water as an expensive luxury, and suggesting that consumers go 'back to the tap'.
Speaking to just-drinks last September, Clarke said: "We believe in the benefits of bottled water and if others have contrary points of view then we want to have constructive discussion and engagement on the points that have been raised."
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