The industry has recently had some very exciting news: 2016 was a record year for German mineral springs. A total of 11.3 billion liters of natural mineral and curative water were consumed in Germany during the last year.
Udo Kremer, CEO of the Association of German Mineral Springs had the following to say: “There is increasing customer demand for products like mineral water, which form part of a healthy diet.” Sales of mineral water with little or no CO2 and curative water in particular experienced growth, while carbonated versions saw a slight decline. Today’s consumers like to feel the products they are buying are as natural as possible. In addition to this, the impressively high total consumption of 148.2 liters of mineral and curative water per person can undoubtedly also be attributed to the increased awareness and improved image such products are continuing to enjoy.
These days, even if you only have a passing interest in health matters, you can scarcely glance through a newspaper without reading that water consumption of 1.5 liters per day can improve your feeling of well-being. Just recently, Munich-based orthopedist and President of the German Spinal Column Association, Dr. Reinhard Schneiderhan, even established a direct correlation between the consumption of mineral water and spinal health. “For a stable but elastic spinal column, it is recommended that around one-and-a-half to two liters be consumed each day. Mineral water is particularly beneficial here but also diluted vegetable or fruit juices and unsweetened herbal teas,” says the expert.
It is also interesting to note that mineral water is increasingly being seen as a luxury product. Doemens Savour Academy—part of a brewing academy in Munich, Germany—is even offering training for water sommeliers. And it’s proving extremely popular: their two-week seminar in March this year completely sold out. The German Trade Association for Curative and Mineral Water has also identified a genuine thirst for knowledge when it comes to water, with a two-part course of study offered for budding mineral water sommeliers at the end of 2017. Producers of mineral water are also presenting their product with growing pride. RhönSprudel, for example, promotes its “certified mineral water expertise” on its homepage, and explicitly mentions that it has no fewer than six mineral water specialists on hand to assist with queries about its product. The German Mineral Water Information Center supports activities to present mineral water as a multifaceted product and offers its own guide on how to produce mineral water lists for the restaurant trade.
Despite all these efforts, however, the quality of German mineral water still has room for improvement, at least in the opinion of the jury at the “27th Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting.” From over 100 different products assessed across a number of categories, the brand “Zaros natural mineral water” from the island of Crete was selected as “the world’s best bottled water.” This may well be due to the fact that it comes from the Psiloritis mountain region, where father of the gods Zeus is supposed to have grown up. Small wonder, then, that other mineral waters had a hard time when faced with such prestigious competition.
At drinktec, water companies from across the world will once again have the chance to stake their claim at the top, with the Beverage Innovation Awards presenting a prize for the best-packaged water, alongside other drinks concepts. The trade fair itself will provide a veritable treasure trove of innovative solutions in the area of filling and packaging technology. PET bottles are the most important variety of packaging for water companies; in light of this, there will be a separate, dedicated exhibition area for containers at the PETpoint. Attendees will have the chance to find out about new developments in PET here, as well as the best possible ways of processing the material.