Bottled water is the world’s most popular purchased beverage.

Worldwide, the bottled water market is growing rapidly, averaging 8.5 percent growth per annum and today it is a $200 billion industry.

Not only is it an incredibly healthy choice, and a good alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages, it’s convenient and allows you to remain hydrated while on the go.

Bottled water also provides an alternative to tap water and can be used by people who do not like the taste of chemically treated town water supplies. In many parts of the developing world, local water supplies are simply unreliable and bottled water provides a safe alternative.

Water bottling in New Zealand is strongly regulated

Bottled water is classified as a food and is covered by the Food Act 2014. It is regulated at a government level by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and standards relating to bottled water are contained in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code 2.6.2.

While the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards can be used as a minimum baseline standard for bottled water, in most cases New Zealand water bottlers use the Australasian Bottled Water Protocols, which set the standard much higher than town water supplies, and which are based on the highly stringent International Bottled Water Standards, developed by the International Bottled Water Association.

This ensures that most water bottlers in New Zealand are producing a high-quality, pure and natural product that is superior to the water that comes out of the tap and meets the standards consumers are demanding.

Types of bottled water

Spring Water and Mineral Water are defined in the Australia New Zealand Food Code as ground water obtained from a subterranean water-bearing strata that, in its natural state, contains soluble matter. 

Mineral water is further defined in the Australasian Bottled Water Institute Model Code as  requiring a level of total dissolved solids of greater than 250 ppm and with no minerals added to such water. This means mineral water is effectively spring water with a mineral content greater than 250mg/l.

The Code also contains the following definitions:

Well water is water from a hole bored or drilled into the ground, which taps into an aquifer.

Natural water is bottled spring, mineral or well water which is derived from an underground formation or water from surface that only requires minimal processing, is not derived from a  municipal system or public water supply, and is unmodified except for limited treatment (such as filtration, ozonation or other proven disinfection process).

The generally accepted definition of artesian water is water confined under pressure such that if the confined aquifer is tapped, the water will flow to the surface under pressure. Artesian water may be spring water or mineral water.

It is important to note that the definitions of water types can vary from country to country. Therefore, any person exporting a bottled water product to another country must ensure their product meets any legal definition of the product they are selling in that country.