Harrogate Spring Water

Harrogate Spring Water has won listings in food retailer O’Key

Harrogate Spring Water is enjoying an export boom as Russians - including Vladimir Putin - develop a thirst for the brand.

Working with the distributor Svam Group, the brand has won listings in Moscow Airport, Costa Coffee and 50 branches of one of Russia’s biggest food retailers O’Key.

Russia is now the biggest export market for brand owner Water Brands Group, which also makes Thirsty Planet, and has helped drive a 55% increase in the company’s exports over the past year to two million bottles.

In marketing Harrogate Spring Water to Russians, it has played on the popularity of Harrogate as a holiday destination for the Russian Royal Family at the end of the 1800s. It has also launched a bottle with the label written in Russian and featuring the Union Jack. “The power of a brand combining Britishness and enduring premium appeal is a hugely strong proposition for foreign consumers,” said Water Brands MD James Cain.

Svam Group partner Pavel Mikhalchenko added: “Previously, imported water into Russia was dominated by French and Italian brands, but Harrogate has a real point of difference that is appealing to our consumers.”

The family-owned business recently announced it was investing £6m in a new bottling line that will allow it to double its production capacity and help fuel further international growth.

The investment followed a period of significant growth for the company. Its sales increased 16% in the year to the end of March to more than £8m.