Increase in health consciousness and hygiene awareness has led people around the world to ponder over the benefits of drinking clean water and this has effectively led to increase in consumption of bottled water around the world thereby fuelling growth in the global bottled water market.

Multiple market research companies have forecast a substantial growth in the bottled water market with one estimate from Zenith International – a market research company that organises the annual and thrillingly named Global Bottled Water Congress – claiming that the bottled water will become one of the fastest-growing beverage market in the world  from $157 billion in 2013 to a whopping $280 billion by 2020.

Forecast suggests that as popularity of bottled water continues to grow globally – particularly in Asia with India and China leading the pack. China has already surpassed USA as the world’s number-one consumer of bottled water, and according to Zenith International, the Asian share of the bottled water market was 41 per cent in 2015, up from 35 per cent in 2011.

Innovation Is The Key

One of the things pointed out by Zenith International and many other market research companies is that innovation would be one of the pivotal points in fuelling growth. In 2016 it became increasingly clear that there are no limits on what water can be, or what consumers are willing to buy.

Bottled water manufacturers are introducing new products with health benefits and new flavours which is resulting several product launches in the bottled water market. Innovations include functional benefits, better taste and consumer convenience.

Consider the case of Australia’s largest producer of distilled drinking water – Refresh – which under its brand “Refresh Pure Water” produces “super-oxygenated” water, called “Oxyfresh” which has Himalayan crystal salt and up to 700% more oxygen than normal water. Then there is AquaBotanical – again an Australian company – that makes bottles from rejected carrots. Last year, this water-made-from-carrots was a finalist in the Global Bottled Water Awards — and it won the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology’s innovation award. Coca-Cola South Pacific has also launched a new Glaceau-branded water, “Glaceau Fruitdropwater”, exclusively for the Australian market. The low-kilojoule, flavoured sparkling spring water is aimed at health-conscious females aged 30 and above, who Coca-Cola say are looking for refreshing, low-kilojoule beverage alternatives.

Packaging Is Also Important

While purity, taste and flavor are certainly some of the most important points that need to be taken into consideration in bottled water market, packaging also holds an important place.

Considering the case of UK, in 2016 British entrepreneurs launched water in a can after they were not satisfied with the currently available bottled water. Packaged in a resealable and recyclable aluminium can, “CanO” is designed to provide a healthier, sustainable alternative to plastic bottled water. It’s also further evidence of the market’s relentless demand for novelty — especially in the realm of packaging.

Companies are coming up with packaging that allows consumers to gauge the purity of the water just by looking. The Evian, a French mineral water company, now offers a slim, 330ml bottle with a transparent label, which the company says allows consumers to see the purity of its water.

The Competitive Landscape

Global bottled water market is a highly competitive landscape with multiple companies fighting out for a share of the massive pie. However, even despite the fierce competition there is still room for new players to enter the market and make a name for themselves. Some of the key players in the current global bottled water market are Nestle Waters, Groupe Danone, PepsiCo Inc, The Coca Cola Company, Mountain Valley Spring Company, LLC., Suntori Beverage & Food Ltd, Unicer – Bebidas SA, Grupo Vichy Catalan, Icelandic Water Holdings ehf., CG Roxane, LLC.

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