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September 8, 2022

Danone exits Brazil’s bottled-water market

After a review of the French giant’s business in Brazil, the company has stopped production.

By Dean Best

Danone has quit Brazil’s bottled-water category after a review of its operations in the country.

The France-based group has stopped producing its Bonafont water brand for sale in Brazil.

In a statement, Danone said the decision had come after a review of its local operations.

“We reviewed our portfolio in Brazil and, as a result of this analysis, decided to focus our business on the largest, most profitable, and growing categories,” the company told Just Drinks.

“The decision to discontinue the water category in Brazil does not affect other markets where Bonafont is present, nor the Danone’s water category worldwide. Waters is an important category that is at the heart of our mission. Water is the healthiest drink and we bring healthy hydration to people in the most sustainable way.”

The Bonafont bottled-water brand was set up in Mexico in 1992 and bought by Danone four years later.

According to research from GlobalData, Just Drinks’ parent, Brazil’s packaged water* category recorded a 2.9% rise in annual volumes in 2021 to 3.58bn litres, as Covid-19 restrictions were lifted and public outdoor movement increased.

The research and intelligence group said local conglomerate Grupo Edson Queiroz accounted for 24.8% of volumes, followed by The Coca-Cola Co., which had a 17.9% volume share.

Danone’s business in Brazil will centre on dairy, plant-based alternatives and infant formula.

In 2021, the company’s overall waters business generated sales of EUR3.96bn (US$3.96bn), up 9.9% on a reported basis and by 7.2% like-for-like. Volumes inched up 0.5%. Danone’s group sales were EUR24.28bn.

GlobalData defines “packaged water” as: “all potable water, including water without added mineral/vitamin enhancement, flavourings, or sugar/sweeteners, sold in large containers of up to and including ten litres”.

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