French food and drinks group Danone unveiled on Thursday a North American sales, marketing and distribution deal with Coca-Colafor its Evian bottled water brand.

The agreement, financial details of which were not disclosed, gives Coke a premium water brand to place along its own mid-priced product Dasani.

Bottled water is undergoing rapid expansion, with the North American market growing by over 30% in 2001. However, Danone North America – ranked fourth in the region behind Coke, Pepsi and Nestlé – lost share to its competitors last year.

Danone will continue to manage worldwide product development and brand strategy for Evian, while Coke will head North American marketing efforts, including media planning and customer promotions.

Coke bottlers already distribute over half of Evian in the region. Current contracts with non-Coke bottlers will be honoured.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; Danone; additional content by WARC staff