Marcelo Possato

Marcelo Possato

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Bottled Water Industry In Brazil

Marcelo Possato

Marcelo Possato

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


The bottled water industry in Brazil is going through some changes following the consumer change in behavior. In this article we will take a closer look at the Brazilian bottled water market.


Brazil has the largest fresh water supply in the world. However, the bottled water market still has to grow a lot to reach the top position in the world in terms of sales and production. In 2013, for instance, the country ranked 4th worldwide among bottled water producers.

The bottled water sector in Brazil has increased a lot in terms of sales volume over the last decade. Since 2004, this industry has experienced a steady growth of at least 3% per year. In 2014 however, the growth was even higher, reaching 20%, according to the Departamento Nacional de Produção Mineral, which is Portuguese for National Department of Mineral Production. According to them, Brazil will be one of the highest consumers of bottled water in the world during the coming years.

The Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency, or Anvisa, is responsible for regulating the commercialization of bottled water, inspecting the production and setting a limit for the minimum and maximum levels of certain elements in the water’s composition, such as potassium, sodium, magnesium and others. Anvisa also verify microorganisms.

The Brazilian bottled water market is appealing with an increasing number of players every year, primarily due to positive sales. It is also possible to identify a few companies that own a lot of brands and dominate the market, such as Danone and Nestlé.

The bottled water industry in Brazil is divided into two groups: still and sparkling, representing, respectively 80% and 20% of the market.

In Brazil it is also possible to find many different bottle sizes. There are seven main sizes available:

  • 300ml plastic bottles commonly sold on the street by street vendors, at bakeries or in stadiums
  • 330ml premium bottles served in restaurants, clubs, cafes and bars
  • 500ml bottles are the most common size. You can find them almost everywhere, including restaurants, schools, universities and supermarkets
  • 1,5L, 5L or 6L commonly found in supermarkets and commonly used at home
  • 10L and 20L gallons used in offices and homes

The segment of premium bottled water is also responsible for the great performance in this segment over the last four years. One million litres of water produced in 2014 was premium.

The Premium Bottled Water Concept

The acceptance of the concept of premiumbottled water is slowly occurring in Brazil. Previously, Brazilians only cared if the water served in restaurants was still or sparkling and not what brand was being served. This still happens quite often, but some people are starting to pay attention to the brands they are drinking. Consumers have started to buy premium bottled water to consume at home as well.

The consumption of premium bottled water is also highly incentivized by Brazilian restaurants since it is not common to serve tap water, the opposite to what occurs in Europe and the U.S.

The movement of Brazilian bottled water companies in the direction of developing their own premium lines was crucial for making the growth of this market possible. As the prices established for Brazilian brands was not as high as the imported brands, customers started to consider opting for premium bottled waters on certain occasions.

Attributes of Premium Bottled Water

Although premium bottled water prices are not that high when compared to the non-premium bottled water, there are some attributes that are expected when it comes to this type of product. If we look at certain labels and certain products, at least three of the following features will be present:

  • Glass or special plastic packaging
  • Stylized packaging
  • Different bottle or label designs
  • Smaller bottles
  • Less sodium
  • A minimum of 120 mg of minerals (ensuring good digestion and control of pH)
  • The source must define the origin, totally protected from the air and any external contamination and always be monitored in order to check vulnerabilities
  • They must be pure and must not depend on any filtering process or biological control to be consumed

Premium bottled water should not be served with ice or lemon, which is very common in Brazil. Still water must be consumed at a temperature between 10°C to 12°C and between 8°C to 10°C, for sparkling.

Common places where Premium Bottled water are served

Premium manufactures claim that the bottles they produce are for consumption in certain places and by certain people. These products are mainly available in the following places: