Nestlé Waters is the world's leading mineral water company by revenues and a key pillar of the vast Nestlé worldwide portfolio. Although its best-known brands are the two mineral waters which made up its old name of Perrier Vittel, the company also has a huge portfolio of almost 50 other international or regional brands including S Pellegrino and Panna in Italy, Buxton in the UK, Poland Spring and Arrowhead in the US, and Sao Lourenco in Brazil among many others. Although it is best-known for these 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 The group 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, Nestlé Waters 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 2018 were approx €6.8bn, of which approx €6.4bn was actually bottled water (as opposed to other soft drinks). That's roughly a third more than main rival Danone. Nestlé is the #1 bottled water company in markets including the US, Canada, Belgium, France, Hungary, Switzerland and Italy; 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.
Capsule checked 17th October 2019
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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:
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.
Adbrands Weekly Update 1st Mar 2018: Ads of the Week: "At the Gynecologist". Nestlé crowd-sourced a selection of everyday challenges faced by heavily pregnant women in France, and then commissioned agency Marcel to bring them to life as the so-called "joys of pregnancy". They include not being given a seat on the bus, climbing stairs and embarrassing conversations in the pharmacy; but our favourite was this one, "At the Gynecologist". Nestlé's Hépar mineral water brand contains exceptionally high levels of natural magnesium, which is good for what we might delicately describe as "intestinal transit". So these ads subject different pregnant ladies to multiple indignities before they confide to camera "Oh well, at least I don't have constipation".
Adbrands Weekly Update 24th Aug 2017: Nestle's US bottled water Poland Spring is the target of a class action lawsuit brought by residents of Maine - where the brand originates - and neighbouring states where it is distributed. According to the suit, Poland Spring is not spring water as Nestle claims, but actually common groundwater collected from man-made wells in Maine's "most populous counties", in several cases, these are situated near land fill sites and waste dumps. The suit alleges that Nestle has piped well water into artificial springs to give the appearance of being natural: "If consumers knew where the defendant's wells were actually located, rather than being misled by defendant's falsely reassuring labels depicting pristine scenes, and knew the extent to which defendant treated or purified the water, they would not buy, or would not pay premium prices for, Poland Spring Water products." Nestle denies the allegations.
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