According a new report by Canadean, packaged water consumption in China continues to skyrocket. In just seven years China has doubled its share of the global packaged water market, and by the end of 2013 is forecast to topple the US from the leading position.
With under a two billion litre difference recorded in 2012, by the end of 2013 China is forecast to be one billion litres ahead of the US. In per capita terms, however, the picture is very different. Canadean’s latest research shows that China is running well below the global packaged water average of 30 litres per head, and at only around one-fifth of that of the US. A scenario which strongly highlights the huge potential for the future growth of China’s packaged water market.
The main thrust behind the surge in packaged water consumption in China lies in the mineralised water (table water with added minerals) and mineral water segments. Increasing consumer health consciousness has seen mineralised water accelerate over the decade to claim a 42% market share. More recently, a notable shift to mineral water is emerging as consumers become more aware of the health benefits of consumption. Producers are increasingly mindful of this new trend and are seeking out high quality natural mineral water sources in order to underline the image of their brands. A leading Chinese domestic player, Jingtian, even turned its sights overseas, investing in a production base in Scotland in 2012.
Canadean’s research highlights that the producers behind the leading brands such as Kangshifu (Tingyi Holding Corp), Nongfushanquan (Zhejiang Nongfushanquan Water Co Ltd), Ice Dew (Coca-Cola) and Yibao (China Resources Enterprises) will be instrumental in driving future category growth. The focus is likely to be increasingly on value-added mineral products, which offer a more favourable profit margin. Continued investment in production expansion and improvement of distribution networks can be expected to fuel the competitive energy in the packaged water market. From a consumer point of view, aside from the health benefits of packaged water, its affordability, particularly in a climate of slowing economic growth, will be highly attractive.