UK consumers are increasingly turning to bottled water
despite campaigns to promote tap water, according to the
latest report by a market analyst.
Datamonitor said UK consumers increased their
consumption of bottled water at the fastest rate in
Europe over the last five years.
Demand was caused by people's wish for a healthy
lifestyle, it said.
But tap water was still popular, cheap and of high
quality in the UK, the Consumer Council for Water said.
The average British consumer drank 41 litres of bottled
water in 2007, the Datamonitor report said.
This remained far below many European counterparts such
as the Italians, 234 litres per person, Spanish, 143
litres, and French, 142 litres.
But growth in bottled water use of 8% a year in the UK
between 2002 and 2007 was the fastest in Europe, and
Datamonitor is predicting that this would continue at a
rate of 7% a year.
Bottled water "is growing in popularity as people choose
it over other soft drinks because it does not contain
calories, caffeine, or artificial colours", said Nick
Beevors of Datamonitor.
In February, the BBC's Panorama programme looked at the
cost of bottled water supplied to English and Welsh
councils, following requests for details under the
Freedom of Information Act.
The programme, Bottled Water - Who Needs It? found
councils had a bill totalling more than ?5m.
Civil Service chief Sir Gus O'Donnell wrote to the heads
of all government departments suggesting they stop
serving bottled water at meetings, but a Commons
committee decided to keep using bottled water.
The Consumer Council for Water has also been campaigning
for people to drink tap water in places such as
"People realise that tap water is so much cheaper than
bottled water and tap water in the UK is among the best
in the world," said Tony Smith, chief executive of the