As a subset of the outdoor industry, the water filters and purifiers category has experienced robust growth during the pandemic, capitalizing on consumers’ growing desire to get out. But it also played on shoppers’ instinct for survival, giving them an added sense of well-being and solace against everything from natural disasters to COVID restrictions, as well as a way to hydrate during recreations outside of the city. beaten path outside.
According to the NPD Group, annual sales of water filters from January 2021 to July 2021 were up 56% from the same period before the pandemic two years earlier. Considering the 12 months ending July 2021 compared to the previous year, sales increased 32% to $ 82.7 million. The top three brands in the category, according to the report, are Lifestraw, Sawyer and Katadyn.
“Consumers are investing in products that both take them outdoors but also provide some safety in emergencies like hurricanes or forest fires,” said Dirk Sorenson, sports industry analyst , NPD. “Water filtration products meet these needs.
The specialty retailers that offer them seem to agree, gravity filters, as opposed to pump filters, which work best in retail.
“The filters have held up well to the pandemic depending on the style,” said Chris Gerston, owner of Bellingham, WA Backcountry Essentials. “While we don’t go through a ton overall, we’ve seen the Sawyer Mini Filters work well for us, almost tripling sales from 2019, and definitely up from 2020.
MSR’s Trailshot sales also doubled from 2019. More traditional pump filters have remained flat despite the pandemic. “
Sawyer saw strong sales momentum in the category, but it also experienced a slight slowdown, reflecting a generally declining trend among specialty retailers.
“There was certainly an unexpected surge in the water filtration market at the start of the pandemic, inevitably influenced by a mix of things but certainly including a bit of panic and uncertainty,” Sawyer’s Travis Avery said. , adding that its standard systems continue to be popular for outdoor recreation. “It has since settled down, and I would say we are maybe 10 percent up in the category from the pre-pandemic period.”
He added that the category seems resilient, however. “Our sales have certainly been affected, but the outside market has been fortunate to remain one of the most active categories during COVID restrictions,” he added, grouping the filters together in this list. “There were certainly many more first-time users and adventurers, but there is understandable uncertainty whether after COVID they will stay or return to their previous hobbies and passions.”
Another filter maker Katadyn has also reported strong sales as a result of the pandemic. “Generally, the pandemic has been very supportive of water filtration and purification,” said John Wright, vice president of sales, Katadyn North America. “The outward mindset that resulted from COVID makes us all go out more often and all think in terms of health, sanitation and drinking water practices. Sales of water filtration and purification have been strong over the past year for these reasons. “
Several manufacturers are at the top of the category.
With ten water filters in its range, from squeeze and mini offers to personal water bottle systems, Sawyer hooks its hat to its 0.1 micron absolute hollow fiber membrane, with high removal and flow rates. Its Select Series foam filtration systems protect against viruses, heavy metals, chemicals and other contaminants; and one of its most recent products, its Tap filter, designed for international emergency use and also growing nationally for uses such as motorhomes and in emergency situations such as emergency alerts. boiling in Texas earlier in the year.
In May of this year, Katadyn launched its BeFree Gravity 6.0L and 10L water filters, adding two unit-compatible sizes to its gravity-fed BeFree range, which uses hollow fiber filtration technology and its EZ-Clean membrane, the brand of manufactures its BeFree collection with a flow rate of up to two liters per minute. The company has also launched a BeFree Gravity upgrade kit to convert its Gravity Camp or Base Camp Pro filters to a BeFree gravity system.
Straw of lifeThe latest BPA Free Go Water Filter Bottle, available in plastic and steel, protects against bacteria, pests, microplastics, chlorine, organic chemicals, dirt, sand and cloudiness; improves taste. The company also rolled out the smaller Lifestraw for direct consumption and its personal carry case, Flex and Universal filters and filter bags.
Platypus presented its QuickDraw microfilter system, a fill and squeeze water filter. Weighing 3.3 ounces and filtering up to three liters per minute, the system consists of two parts: a one-liter QuickDraw reservoir and a hollow fiber filter cartridge. Users can shake it to clean the hollow fiber filter or perform a tool-less backwash for fast flow rates even after filtering. With a double internal / external thread design, the filter cartridge fits Smartwater bottles and other Platypus bottles and tanks.
With nine different filters and purifiers in its range, MSR launched its Guardian Gravity purifier for 2021, a gravity-fed filter that removes viruses, bacteria, protozoa, sediment and microplastics hands-free. With a flow rate of up to a liter in two minutes, a flow rate that it claims to be “2.5 times faster than the next gravity purifier,” its sales are not as robust as its bestseller Thru-Link Inline Water Filter, which turns any hydration reservoir into a filtration system. Originally designed to protect military personnel in the field, meeting the NSF P248 military test standard, it comes with a ten liter tank to support large groups.
Photo courtesy of Lifestraw