Market research

India and China drive world’s rise in packaged water consumption

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

India and China drive world’s rise in packaged water consumption

Related tags Water

Emerging countries are driving a trend that will soon see packaged water overtake fizzy drinks.

Historically, carbonates have led global soft drinks consumption, but according to Canadean’s latest forecasts, 2015 will see packaged water overtake overtake the old category leader. 

While western countries with traditionally high packaged water consumption will be slipping down the growth rankings—Germany, Italy, France and Spain are forecast to see compound growth of just 1% between 2015 and 2020—India, with 21% growth, and 12% growth in China, will drive the market. 

Asia’s significant impact

Top 10 global packaged water country ranking in terms of volume, 2015F v 2020F (% share)

Canadean predicts that China and India will account for around half of all additional packaged water consumption in 2020—a total of around 45bn litres more than in 2015. 

With nearly one-third of the world’s population residing in these countries, the impact is significant. Packaged water is often necessary in areas susceptible to flooding or other natural occurrences, as these often lead to water contamination and the spread of diseases​,” said Fiona Baillie, the report’s author.

Due to higher temperatures and poor public water quality, on-the-go hydration is seeing growing influence in Asian daily life, with many consumers now carrying bottles of water with them. 

India has seen a strong growth in 100cl bottles in rural markets, as locals perceive them as having good value per serving and being easy to transport​,” said Baillie. 

The expansion of retail in bus terminals and train stations is the key to India’s strong on-the-go consumption. It assimilates packaged water, namely 100cl bottles, into the process of travelling and establishes it as the norm for all types of consumers​.”

Lightning growth of water

The report also found that global packaged water use will overtake carbonates consumption, reaching over 233bn litres in 2015, while carbonates is expected to grow at a slower pace to around 227bn litres. 

Back in 2010 the global population consumed only 170bn litres of packaged water, compared to 215bn litres of carbonates. Baillie added: “The speed at which packaged water is growing is evident. Asia and West Europe already have packaged water consumption levels above those of carbonates and this year East Europe is set to join them​.”

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