Bottled Water Wars In Mexico

On May 30, 2012 by Editor

The first thing anyone says when they hear someone is going to Mexico is usually “don’t drink the water” or “beware of Montezuma’s Revenge!”. Yes, we all know about the issues with the quality of tap water in Mexico. They tell us to drink only bottle water, don’t order cocktails with ice cubes, don’t open your mouth in the shower, etc, etc. Even Mexicans don’t drink the tap water. When

3 Baskets of Bottled Water - Starbucks

3 Baskets of Bottled Water - Starbucks (Photo credit: djwaldow)

they head out to a friend’s for dinner, a bottle of water goes right along with them. So is it really any surprise that the bottled beverage industry in Mexico is a hotbed of competition?


Initially the bottling companies promoted soft drinks over bottled water. Addictive ingredients such as caffeine and sugar are part of the mix, after all, and it brings in more revenue. According to estimates from the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC), Mexicans drank 166 liters of carbonated beverages per person in 2010. That is more than any other nation in the world, including the US. The numbers indicate a massive profit potential for bottling companies – but not for long. The Mexican government has recently taken on an aggressive campaign to address child obesity, and has now banned the sale of carbonated beverages in schools (accounting for a huge chunk of sales).


The alternative is, of course, bottled water. According to the BMC, Mexicans drank 248 liters of bottled water per capita in 2011 while Americans consume just 110 liters of bottled water per capita. The current leader of the pack is Danone out of France with 26% of the market (according to Forbes). But Coca Cola and Pepsi are definitely battling for a larger share, as they currently hold 23% and 13% consecutively. However, Pepsi seems too focused on other business concerns in Mexico, leaving Coca Cola and Danone to fight it out.


Danone’s brand of water in Mexico, Bonafont, has been successful through clever marketing strategies that promote women’s health and assist the government goal of reducing obesity. Ciel, is a brand of bottled water that Coca Cola is pushing hard in the marketplace however. They push the celebrity angle, promote environmentalism and recycling, even going so far as to promote a children’s line of bottled water. Yet still, Bonafont is considered the high end brand.


Bottled water is big business in Mexico, and the contenders are fighting hard for their shares of the market. Price is the deciding factor for the locals because the competing companies aren’t local to Mexico, so brand loyalty isn’t an issue. When you head down south this summer, drink lots of bottled water and make your own assessment of which company is best. Or does it really matter?



—————————————————- is an online travel company determined and dedicated to becoming the leader in providing travelers with the most intuitive online booking experience full of relevant information, helpful guides and travel tips. Find great deals on the Sandos Caracol Eco Resort at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>