The world bottled water market is expected to reach $70bn in value by 2017 and will be stimulated by rising population, consumer spending patterns, lifestyle trends and growing levels of health consciousness, among other factors.
The global bottled water market is dominated by Europe and the US, which account for over 50% of the market value. Several bottled water companies are looking to enter developing markets, with immense growth potential such as Asia and Middle East.
China is one such market where sales of bottled water are rapidly increasing. Companies are trying to capitalise on weather changes, such as summer, and an increase in health consciousness among consumers. The bottled water industry is expected to witness greater participation from soft drink and dairy processing companies, fostered by economies offered by existing international distribution networks, and processing equipment.
Bottled water will continue to fare well in the global beverage marketplace as a healthy alternative to carbonated soft drinks. Gains in the bottled water market will also come from flavoured varieties and convenient packaged formats, especially single-serve packs. The sparkling water market is dominated by Europe, which accounts for more than 75% of the world market.
Danone, Nestlé, PepsiCo and The Coca-Cola Company are the four corporate goliaths in the industry.
The major challenge for most companies is product innovation and differentiation, as 'water is still just water'. Containers are an important part of bottled water, as they constitute nearly 50% of cost. Even look, weight and price of the product are as significant as the water itself.
By the year 2017, consolidation in the industry is expected to accelerate, resulting in a higher degree of concentration, with the leading players strengthening their global presence.
The bottled water industry in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to experience a major boost, as more companies venture into the market to capitalise on the latent demand potential. Product, marketing/promotion, packaging, distribution, price and technology would be the key factors in garnering market share in the industry.
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