Harrogate Spring Water

Agency: Thompson Brand Partners

Executive summary

The UK bottled water market is tough. Dominated by a handful of famous brands and own-label product, growth is a difficult task, especially for an independent bottler.

Enter Harrogate Spring Water. This relatively small business run by the Cain family, has not just held firm, but, thanks to a rebrand and new positioning, has grown. Profits have increased by 47% in just two years, and their market share by 6%. This growth exceeds the big boys with their much bigger budgets.


The water market had been growing steadily for several years, not least because the Sugar Tax debate and greater health awareness have impacted on the soft drinks market overall. This has created more space for water. At the end of 2013, though, it looked like the growth was starting to plateau.

Early on, Harrogate recognised an opportunity to seize extra market share and offer a genuine challenge to the big players for the first time. They needed a brand identity and packaging that would support their growth and give them, for the first time, a clear positioning to help them to stand apart.