Italian dairy multinational Parmalat is re-entering the bottled water sector with a Lit200bn investment. While starting at home in Italy, the group hopes to export its new product, Aqua Parmalat, to Russia, the far East and South America. It may also offer it on the North American market via its Lit140bn joint venture with Canadian Eaux Vive Harricana.

Alberto Pozzi, director general of Parmalat’s new bottled water division, said the company’s product would aim to capture 3-4% of the drinking water sector which grosses an estimated Lit5,500bn a year. Parmalat will have an edge in logistics, because its new product will be distributed through its established milk and dairy network.

A decade ago, Parmalat entered the field with a mineral water called Monte Bianco, but quickly pulled out, unable to show any profit.

By Hilmi Toros, correspondent