Italians are the largest consumers of mineral water in the world, drinking 189 litres per head last year compared with 69 litres per head in the United States. In Italy there are177 producers, marketing 265 different brands. The multinational food companies such as Nestl from Switzerland, owners of Acqua Panna and Levissima, and Danone from France with Ferrarelle and Liete, are major players in the Italian mineral water market, and are constantly searching for new ways to win customers. They have discovered that Italians consume almost all the water they drink at home and only 12 out of the 189 litres outdoors. Until now the young woman drinking water as she walked along was almost always a foreigner but that is due to change, with small, handbag sized, accessory styled bottles being produced to attract women and bottles with a toy theme for school children.

The fashion for mineral water grows but the suppliers of Italian tap water are constantly reminding the public that the water they supply is always safe and just as good for you as anything that is sold in a bottle and much cheaper.