There are two different segments of bottled water markets within the industry:
The industry’s first bottled water companies started in Toronto and Montreal just after World War 1 delivering bottled water to offices and homes. This company is still in business and a proud member of CBWA.
A number of factors have contributed to the popularity of bottled water. As consumers focus and healthy eating with a significant emphasis on sufficient hydration, bottled water is seen as a natural product and a vital part of a heathy lifestyle.
Demand has also increased as a result of greater portability and accessibility via convenience stores, gas stations, supermarkets, food service and hospitality, and vending machines. The increased consumption of bottled water has moved the product beyond the niche market and into the mainstream as bottled water has become a basic staple for many Canadian households.
Bottled water competes with a variety of packaged beverages, including carbonated soft drinks, milk, juices, non-dairy beverages, energy drinks, and sport drinks, and to a lesser extent with hot drinks such as coffee, tea and hot chocolate, and alcohol wine coolers and ciders. However, according to a study conducted in May of 2006 by Probe Research Inc., the majority (70%) of adults who purchase bottled water do so as an alternative to buying other packaged beverages, not as an alternative to tap water.