China's bottled water consumption grew by 14% in 2012 to 54 billion litres, according to a new report from leading food and drink consultancy Zenith International. The market's value has risen by 143% since 2008 and reached over $16 billion in 2012.
The leading brands are Master Kong from Ting Hsin, Nongfu Spring, Wahaha, C'estbon from Hua Run and Ice Dew from Coca-Cola. There are, however, significant differences between each region and the market is highly fragmented.
"China's rapid urbanisation and economic growth mean that more people are on the move, leading busier lifestyles and with a better understanding of health. General consumer concerns over pollution and purity have helped bottled water to be chosen as an affordable preference", commented Zenith Regional Research Co-ordinator Yumiko Magara Wilkey.
Among other findings in the 2013 Zenith Report on China Bottled Water:
Consumption per person reached 40 litres in 2012, well ahead of the Asia Pacific average at 27 litres. Higher rates in Indonesia and Korea indicate continued growth opportunity for China.
There are many leading regional players with potential for further expansion.
Bulk water remains dominant but mid-size packaging, such as 1.5 litres and 4-5 litres, has advanced strongly.
Zenith forecasts that the Chinese bottled water market will have increased by a further 73% in 2017.