As soon as news of the COVID-19 pandemic began, images of chaos and hysteria emerged. Consumers began grabbing water from the shelves of supermarkets, box stores, and every other retailer that they could find.
In many areas, water is like toilet paper— high on the grocery list but nearly impossible to find. Many Americans stockpiled water because they feared that something might happen to the public water systems.
Although those fears were unfounded, the demand for bottled water remains high.
Providing Antiviral Protection
When the pandemic hit, the backlash against plastic waste and single-use containers fell to the wayside. Bottled water sales have skyrocketed and are likely to remain elevated during the pandemic.
Many consumers prefer to drink from plastic bottles because they perceive them to be safer than drinking from a glass handled by a potentially contagious human.
Plastic has gone from the bad guy to the savior that provides antiviral protection.
Bottled Water Sales Skyrocketed
According to CSP Daily News, US sales of bottled water increased by 52.5% between late February and mid-March. And it wasn’t just bottled water that consumers were stockpiling.
- Sports drink sales increased by 38%.
- Sparkling water sales went up by 28%.
In the UK, value-added water sales rose from mid-March through June 2020. According to Gov.uk, alkaline water brand Actiph saw a:
- 1,000% increase on Amazon
- 300% increase in sales to smaller online retailers
Post-lockdown, the UK bottled water market is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 8.2% until 2025 (Statista, 2020).
A new Future Market Insights (FMI) report predicts that the global bottled water processing market will be valued at over $392 billion US dollars between 2019 and 2029.
Luckily, governments consider the bottled water industry an essential business, so they did not shut down.
To meet the increase in demand, IBWA member companies immediately expanded production to provide their home, office, and retail consumers with the bottled water they need.
They’ve done this by:
- Acquiring extra packaging and materials
- Increasing bottling capacity
- Hiring additional drivers and bottling plant workers
- Working with retailers to determine demand
Donating Never Stops
But our industry leaders haven’t stopped there. The industry donated and are continuing to donate bottled water to charitable community organizations and other groups.
For example, one IBWA member company donated more than half a million bottles of water to relief efforts in New York City.
Throughout the United States, they also gave bottled water to numerous:
- Food banks
Another IBWA member company supplied bottled water to Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County Police. The water was handed out with 340 pizzas to the citizens of Wilmerding, PA, during a social distancing drive-thru party.
A third member company contributes to the United Way’s efforts to help people in need with:
- Critical services
They are also donating bottled water to first responders, hospitals, and food banks in highly impacted communities throughout the United States.
At the Forefront
Our industry has always been at the forefront of providing needed assistance before, during, and after emergencies and natural disasters.
We provide millions of gallons of water to those in need each year. In recent years, water companies have successfully supplied water during a succession of series hurricanes that affected different parts of the United States in a single hurricane season.
That year, there were also a number of tap water boil alerts that occurred around the country, as well as other emergencies like wildfires.
Bottled water is always there when consumers need it–in good times and in bad.
We’re Here for You!
We know everyone is working hard to keep up with the increase in demand that has come with the pandemic. We also know that the pandemic has turned your lives and businesses upside down.
That’s why we want to make everything as simple as we can to make your lives easier. Let us know how we can help you with your needs today!