Mineral waters join the “Made in Italy” club
It’s not only about eating healthy. It’s about drinking healthy as well. And about quality. This is the trend coming out of the market, which is seeing water, among other things, becoming one of the beverages that is a symbol of “Made in Italy.” Healthy living is also taking over beverages and wine, which are focusing ever more on a premium quality that is very much appreciated abroad.
According to data from Mineracqua (Federazione Italiana Industrie Acque Minerali e Bevande Analcoliche), 2014 saw an increase of 1.4% in sales of mineral water despite a summer season with temperatures that were below average. Overall production was 12.55 billion litres compared to 12.4 billion in 2013 (+1.2%). Overall sales for Italian manufacturers was 2.4 billion euros as compared to 2.26 the year before (+6.2%).
According to Mineracqua, for the current year, thanks as well to higher temperatures during the summer season, consumption increased to 8% in volume and 10% in value. The federation estimates that preliminary figures could see the year end with growth between 5% and 6%.
“These numbers confirm that, thanks as well to the communications campaigns that we’ve been carrying out for years, the consumer is ever more aware that mineral water is good, healthy and safe – says Ettore Fortuna, vice president of Mineracqua – Thanks to its hydrogeological conditions, Italy is a place that is unique in the world for springs. We have more than 700 – of those 320 are used for bottling – that have different levels of concentration for minerals, suitable for different health needs. Furthermore, then there’s the volcanic rock, which offers the unique characteristic of natural effervescence. It’s no surprise that Italian mineral water is sought out abroad as an authentic ‘Made in Italy’ product.”
“With the Fondazione Acqua – adds Fortuna who is also president of the Fondazione – we work a lot on themes of safety and sustainability as well, which are very important to the industry. For example, in the last few years, manufacturers have reduced the weight of PET bottles by about 30%, which is a contribution toward helping save the planet. Today PET bottles are ever more versatile and safe, so much so that they are being used for other liquid food products.”
Companies can attest to this as well. For Mauro Franzoni, President of Levico Acque, “…the search for innovation is continuing, both in terms of rediscovering products and products that have a natural value-add (artisanal, organic or typically authentic). Certainly, enhancing the line of products favours interest in new clients in Italy as well as abroad, an area where we are seeing great successes.”
“The organic and health aspects are fundamental for those who, like us, quench the thirst of thousands of people every single day – concludes Giovanni Vietti, President of Lauretana – For years, Lauretana has worked so consumers know how to correctly read the label and the values listed there in order to evaluate the characteristics of the water they drink. This shows a preference that has well-being as the goal. It is important to make people reflect on the role of water, on how much of a role it has in terms of benefitting our organism and on the absolute importance of values like health and purity.”
Whether it is chosen for health reasons, for taste or for the brand, one thing is sure: mineral water has fully made its way into the Italian food and beverage realm.