Nestlé Waters is the world's leading mineral water business by revenues and a key pillar of the vast Nestlé worldwide portfolio, despite having downsized significantly in 2021 with the sale of most of its North American portfolio. Its best-known brands are the two mineral waters which made up its old name of Perrier Vittel, but the company also has a large portfolio of around 40 other international or regional brands including Contrex and Hepar in France, S Pellegrino and Panna in Italy, Erikili and Alacam in Turkey, Buxton in the UK, Glaciar in Argentina, Sao Lourenco in Brazil among many others. Although it is best-known for its premium brands, the company is aggressively targeting less affluent consumers in emerging markets as well as in the West with company-branded products made from locally sourced "prepared water" rather than spring-fed mineral water. Nestlé Pure Life is now the word's best-selling bottled water, supported in several markets by Nestlé Aquarel. The group also offers direct home and office delivery in several markets Nestlé has an unrivalled global footprint, with production sites in 34 countries, but the largest proportion of sales are still generated in developed markets. Despite its size, the company faces considerable competitive pressure, not just in Europe from traditional rival Danone, but globally from soft drink giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, both of whom have moved aggressively into prepared bottled water. Another major recurring problem for the company is opposition from environmental activists over the ethics of the premiumisation of water and issues of plastic recycling. Divisional revenues for 2020 were approx €5.8bn. That's roughly a third more than main rival Danone. Currently, Nestlé is the #1 bottled water company in markets including Belgium, France, Hungary, Switzerland and Italy; and the #2 in the UK, Germany and Poland among other countries. Traditionally the business has operated as a standalone entity, most recently under global CEO Maurizio Patarnello. However at the end of 2019, the group merged waters into its main geographical structure alongside other food and beverage products. Patarnello departed the group and was not replaced. In another major change to its strategy, Nestlé took the decision to sell all its locally sourced US bottled water brands - led by Poland Spring, Arrowhead, Deer Park and even Pure Life - to private equity. These now operate as independent company BlueTriton Brands. That disposal will reduce the group's combined revenues from bottled waters by more than half to around €2.1bn.
Capsule checked 7th July 2021
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Historical profile information for Nestlé Waters
Adbrands Daily Update 8th Mar 2021: Within days of dumping its (lower priced) regional bottled water brands, Nestlé doubled down on the premium water segment with the purchase of ionized alkaline water Essentia. Terms were not disclosed but previous estimates have valued Essentia at as much as $500m. The brand had sales of $192m in 2020, said Nestlé. It will sit alongside Perrier, San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna in the company's slimmed down portfolio.
Adbrands Daily Update 17th Feb 2021: As first indicated last summer, Nestlé has finalised terms for the sale of all its regional bottled water brands in the US. The buyers are the investment firms One Rock Capital and Metropoulos & Co, at a price of $4.3bn. Nestlé will continue to sell premium waters Perrier, S Pellegrino and Acqua Panna in the US, but all its other brands - including Poland Spring, Deer Park, Ozarka, Ice Mountain, Zephyrhills, Arrowhead and Pure Life - will transfer to the new owners. The sale price is roughly $1bn higher than those brands combined annual revenues. The disposal will reduce Nestlé's combined sales from bottled water by more than half.
Adbrands Daily Update 12th Oct 2020: "Heat". The new campaign for Perrier from Ogilvy Paris is just fabulous, resurrecting the brand's long-established reputation as a thirst-quencher, this time in a dystopian Western-themed futureworld. What a coup, too, to secure the services of Cary Fukunaga, hot from the 'No Time To Die' shoot, as director. Lots of great little touches as well, from that heat-soaked coitus interruptus to the spat-out screw top. So why, oh why, we ask, after one of the longest hottest summers in recent memory across most of Europe, is this ad making its debut in October just as the weather turns wet and cold and the sweaters come out of the closet. What a missed opportunity!
Adbrands Daily Update 12th Jun 2020: Just days after it confirmed a plan to sell its Buitoni brand in the US and Canada, Nestlé said it was also exploring options for the disposal of most of its bottled water business in North America. The company plans to retain international brands Perrier, San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, but is thinking of divesting all its local brands such as Poland Spring, Arrowhead, Deer Park, Zephyrhills, Ice Mountain and Ozarka as well as the purified Pure Life brand. Combined sales are around $3.6bn, but margins are low because of the costs of distribution and there is also growing pressure on the company for the amount of plastic it uses. [Updated: First to go was Nestlé Pure Life in Canada. The brand was sold in July to local rival Ice River Springs.]
Adbrands Social Media 21st Jun 2018: Here's a sweet campaign from Marcel Paris for Nestle's Contrex mineral water. The food and beverage giant has partnered with crowdfunding site Ulule to help finance female-led entrepreneurial projects in France with up to €2,500 per idea. It's a commendable initiative, and these ladies' performances are just great. "Nothing beats the sensation of having a great idea. Apart from making it happen." You can practically see those lightbulbs going off above their heads. The member of the Adbrands team who suggested that there was something else going on here has been sent to stand in a corner for an hour in the hope that he will clean up his grubby thoughts.
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