Incremental innovations in bottle packaging, design and ergonomics aim to differentiate their products from other water brands. In this article, we will present some examples in terms of packaging innovations in the water market.
- Towards a more premium positioning
In 2014, Evian has launched its new range of water bottle called “Prestige”. This new range of bottles (plastic and glass) offers a new packaging to enhance Evian’s water. This elegant and transparent bottle, identifiable thanks to its pure shapes and its sober label, was created to be distributed within high-end points of sale (premium supermarkets, luxury hotels, premium restaurants and takeaway sales). The launch, exclusively in all Monoprix stores in France, has been a really success. Indeed, the Prestige Evian bottle was the first innovation to contribute to the growth of soft drinks at Monoprix, ensuring 37% growth.
Does the Prestige water differ from the other Evian’s waters? Of course not, the water in both bottles is the same, this innovation is just about packaging and design. Through this innovation, Evian wants to give a more premium positioning to the brand.
To continue to enhance supermarket shelves with its Prestige range, Evian came up with a breakthrough innovation in 2016: the pack that holds itself together. The packaging of bottles sold in packs, unattractive and not very ecological, has been eliminated. In fact, its packs of four 1.25L bottles hold thanks to microdots of glue. This new innovation reinforces the premium positioning of Evian with its Prestige range by offering a more attractive product and differentiating itself from its competitors.
- Ergonomics: decisive purchasing criterion
Brands are increasingly offering packaging that considers the daily use of the product. Lately, the ergonomic aspect of the product has even become one of the main factors for innovation in recent years. Indeed, ergonomics is one of the main consumer expectations in the bottled water market
Wattwiller is a good example of innovation in term of ergonomic improvement. In 2018, the brand reveals the new design of its 1.5L bottle in order to strengthen consumer purchasing intentions while strengthening its premium positioning. Slenderer with a slimmer waist, this new shape makes it easier to hold and the bottle’s resistance thanks to a better rigidity. Besides, Wattwiller has reviewed the designs of the Vosges Balloons Natural Park to highlight the purity of its waters. But, this improvement in term of ergonomics is not the first attempt of Wattwiller. In fact, in 2014, the brand launched is new cap easy to open, ultra-practical in terms of handling and very aesthetic in the shape of petals.
The brand has well understood that the ergonomic dimension and the comfort of use of a product have become decisive purchasing criteria. Besides, Wattwiller always consider the aesthetics in its improvement because the design aspect is also an important purchasing criterion for women, key consumers of mineral water brands.
- Sustainability issue at the center of the last packaging innovations
Sustainability issues have been at the center of the water brands’ strategies. In average, a French citizen drinks 139 liters of bottled plastic water per year. Most of these bottles are not recycled and end up in the ocean and are polluting the planet. Consumers are becoming more and more preoccupied by these phenomena and has become a really challenge for the water industry. To respond to the consumers’ expectations, brands are using an eco-design approach in terms of packaging to reduce their environmental impact.
Danone Eaux is a good example of sustainable packaging innovations. The company has stated that, by 2025, it will only use 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging. Through these two iconic brands, Evian and Volvic, Danone Eaux has decided to become an example in terms of “rPET”, a recycled and recyclable plastic.
For instance, Evian’s 1.5L bottles, which represents 60% of the brand’s volumes, now contain 50% rPET, twice as much as the previous generation. But the company goes further with Volvic and its 8L bottle – format that allows less plastic to be used per liter – which is now made of 100% of rPET. This is a first in the French market and it shows Danone’s commitment to the circular economy.
To sum up, innovation in terms of packaging is an important dimension in the water market. Each actor uses it for different reasons as seen previously, but, packaging innovations are an important part of the brands’ strategies in order to be more competitive and differentiated themselves from the competition. But some innovations are not always a complete success such as Cristaline and its new cap “snap clic” in 2016.
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