Water is a convenient healthy choice for shoppers in the Petrol & Convenience channel; that’s actually what’s important to water shoppers as they continue to turn away from sugary soft drinks and to water because it is a beverage that “helps me with my health and wellbeing”.
The price downstream
Whilst there is a capability to command a higher $/L, prices have been heading one way with the emergence of retailer label/value brands and bulk pack formats coupled with increased price competition by the branded players, it has been a challenge to encourage spend in store through (price or volume) trade up.
We do see that water shoppers tend to be less brand loyal vs. other categories, nearly one in three shoppers plan to buy whatever seemed best value, but that’s mostly for still varieties which have had the biggest impact from retailer brands. The good news is that we don’t need to treat all water the same as there is some level of brand following for varieties like sparkling and different pack formats/brands.
Whilst cutting price has been the focus of suppliers and retailers, this just isn’t the case for shoppers, sure they’re buying cheaper water but the overall price message, and more specifically promotions and fixed low price are not as important to shoppers of this category.
Water shoppers actually don’t know the normal price for what they usually buy, and they don’t look to this category as an indicator to determine whether the retailer is competitively priced in general, so if it’s a war on price you’re after, this isn’t the category to do it with.
Instead, what makes this category valuable to the channel is that it gets shoppers through the door, because it is something they just don’t want to run out of, which means we must get availability right and stores must be in stock when shoppers need it.