Faced with repeated heat waves, the French have exploded sales of bottled water

The day of June 18, during the first episode of heat wave of the summer, was “the day on which natural flat waters have generated the most turnover for at least three years“said NielsenIQ. Thierry ZOCCOLAN / AFP

Between June 13 and August 7, 351 million units were sold in supermarkets, an increase of 15% compared to last summer.

If summer is still a particularly favorable season for the sale of bottled water, the summer of 2022 should remain in the annals of distributors. The generalized heat in the area and the successive heat waves have in fact boosted sales to considerable levels. “Sales of plain water (still and sparkling) are effectively boosted by heat waves“, we note on the side of the panelist NielsenIQ.

Between June 13 and August 7, no less than 351 million bottles were sold in supermarkets, according to data from the research firm, a jump of 15% compared to last summer. Which, it should be noted, had been much cooler. In total, water thus generated a turnover of 465 million euros over this period, an increase of 19% compared to the same period in 2021.

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July was particularly buoyant for this product, with sales in supermarkets up nearly 19% for still and sparkling water, compared to last summer, points out the IRI panelist. “The month of June 2021 had already been very hot, hence a less spectacular impact for the month of June 2022observes Emily Mayer, director of business insight at the analytics firm. The increase in June was indeed limited to +2.4% for natural flat waters.

June 18 heat wave history

As for distributors, the Casino group confirms this upward trend. “We have indeed seen a sharp increase in sales of bottled mineral water in recent weeks, with an increase of 20% at Monoprix and nearly 50% at Franprix.“, we say. The other large retailers were unable to provide their own figures.

Same observation among water bottle producers. “We are between +5% and +15% in sales compared to previous summers, depending on the brands“, estimates Antoine Cardon, general delegate of the Syndicate of spring waters and natural mineral waters (SESEMN), pointing “the heatwave effect“. The day of June 18, during which dozens of municipalities broke their temperature record for the month of June, illustrates this effect well. “This is the day when natural flat waters have generated the most turnover for at least three years, with 9 million euros in one day“, notes the NielsenIQ institute.

In terms of brands, Cristaline remains the undisputed number one in the sector. The pack of six 1.5-litre bottles was even, in the first half of 2022, the second best-selling reference in French supermarkets (118 million euros in turnover), just behind the 1-litre bottle. of Ricard, according to data from NielsenIQ.

No risk of shortage

This unprecedented boom in bottled water consumption, in addition to its ecological impact, is not without posing supply problems for supermarkets. “Stores encounter supply difficulties and supplier quotas, particularly for national brand references for which suppliers favor large volumes of 1.5 liters“, we explain at Casino. From there to soon see the water running out in the rays? No, answers Antoine Cardon. “Large retailers have made stocks upstream“, underlines the spokesperson of the SESEMN.

According to Antoine Cardon, there is nothing to fear either from the historic drought that France is going through – “more than a hundred municipalitieswere deprived of drinking water last week according to the government. Because bottled water is pumpedin deep groundwater, which is impervious to high temperatures“, he observes. According The echoeshis union nevertheless, for fear of possible limitations on withdrawals from national or local authorities, wrote to the Minister of Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu, to ask him to “do not slow down activity for a product in high demandin these high temperatures.

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