Bottled Water Prices & Advertising

According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC), the average price per gallon of domestic non-sparkling bottled water was $1.13 in 2010. As a popular retail food product, bottled water is available at many differing price points.


According to BMC, consumers most often tend to buy bottled water in bulk from supermarkets or large discount retailers. A 24-pack of bottled water typically costs about $6.99, or $0.29 a bottle. Even if bottled water drinkers were to hydrate with the recommended daily 64oz of water (about 3.5 single serve PET bottles), the total amount spent per person would be $400 a year.


Actual consumers most often purchase bottled water in cost-saving volume. BMC notes that mass merchandisers/club stores, where the price per gallon is generally much lower, accounted for 29.7% of the volume of retail premium PET water in 2010, and grocery stores accounted for 29.5% of retail PET volume in the same year. Convenience stores, where the bottled water price per gallon is likely to be higher, sold only 5.5% of total retail PET water in 2010. The rest of the volume – 3.4% – was sold through drug stores.


Bottled Water Advertising & Marketing

Claims are sometimes made that bottled water sales are fueled by expensive marketing and misinformation. The success of the bottled water industry has been consumer driven and simply cannot be attributed to costly advertising and marketing campaigns. People realize that bottled water is a safe, healthy, and convenient product, and that is what motivates their purchases. In fact, bottled water companies spend relatively little on advertising and marketing.


According to BMC and Kantar Media Intelligence, advertising expenditures for the bottled water industry totaled only $30 million in 2009 – one of the lowest spending levels in the beverage industry. In comparison, 2009 advertising expenditures for beer totaled $1 billion, carbonated soft drinks $477 million, fruit beverages $361 million, milk $152 million, energy drinks $132 million, and coffee $110 million.