Coca-Cola Australia taps into booming European bottled water market

June 27, 2019
By Alana House

As it strengthens its offering in cola and water, Coca-Cola has released Bisleri Spring Water into the Australian market.

Bisleri describes itself as being inspired Italy’s timeless style and love of communal dining, combined with the best of Australia – pristine nature and quality pure water.

Senior Brand Manager Tiana Handel said the decision to launch Bisleri in Australia was in response to European water being so dominant in cafes and restaurants.

“We identified there was a gap in the market for an Australian spring water with a delicate, clean and crisp taste to accompany fine food and wine,” Handel said.

“Biserli targets premium and contemporary cafes and restaurants, encouraging Australians to come together over great food and special moments.”

Handel added that Biseri had been well received by the market.

“Stockists are driven by the passion of the brand to pour with pride,” she said. “The timeless and elegant glass bottle stands proud on any table and is the perfect accompaniment to fine food and wine.”

Bisleri launch dovetails with new sales strategy

Coca-Cola Amatil MD Alison Watkins told the company’s annual general meeting that its focus moving forward was in the “must-win” categories of cola and water.

“There were significant gains in both categories during the year,” she said. “This in-market success is a testament to the consumer trend toward low and no-sugar choices. It also reflects the success of our integrated marketing and execution strategies particularly around the key selling weeks.”

Watkins also reported that Amatil had reversed a decline in beverage volumes in NSW by hiring 97 additional sales and business development staff to liaise with stores and cafes, giving them tips on increasing consumption of soft drinks, juice and bottled water.

Watkins said that volumes in the “immediate consumption” channel in metro NSW had risen 2% in the year to date as a result, after falling 11% in the year-earlier period.

“New trendy cafes have been opening, and we had been probably assuming that those customers would be comfortable dealing with us through phone and online channels and hadn’t been investing in the face-to-face visitation of those customers,” Watkins added.

The person-to-person sales approach is in the process of being rolled out nationwide, with expectations it would have a “really meaningful” impact on its business.

Watkins said most of the benefits from the nationwide rollout were expected to flow through in the second half.

Bisleri Still & Sparkling Water

Handel agreed the strategy was proving to be a winner for Bisleri.

“Amatil’s expansion of its team of sales reps offers weekly store visits rather than monthly, advises customers how to boost consumption of cold soft drinks, juice, iced coffee and bottled water,” she said.

“The initiative – called ‘Feet on the Street’ – is about having face-to-face relationships with customers where you can really understand their needs as well as take orders and make sure their fridge is ranged correctly to optimise the results. By increasing the face-to-face opportunities, the sales reps also make sure those fridges are working for Amatil.”

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