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Bottled Water - China - March 2016

“The current bottled water market is at a more sustainable stage driven by rapid expansion in the low end, with a volume sales advantage and a small high-end market with escalating growth and high profit margins. While low-end brands are competing on price, high-end brands are rivalling with premium associations such as high-quality water sources and packaging.”   

Lei Li, Research Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • How domestic products maintain competitiveness and consumer confidence
  • What does premiumisation mean to consumers?
  • The opportunities for e-commerce to target online shoppers

Despite the fact that China’s economic expansion is slowing, the bottled water market remains moderately stable. Chinese consumers have a growing thirst for the most basic of beverages – bottled water, mainly due to pollution fears that are driving the Chinese towards bottled water consumption and expensive branded waters. The market posts a giant opportunity for premium bottled waters.

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

The bottled water market covers:

  • All packaged still, sparkling and flavoured water. Also, natural and purified water.
  • Market size is based on retail (off-trade) sales and non-retail (on-trade) sales.
  • All bottled water for human consumption, including bulk containers, bottled water sold to consumers, and all catering and institutions including bulk supplies to business.
  • Any bottled water used by processors to make other products.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products/themes covered in this report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast of china retail sales of bottled water, by value, 2010-20
            • Figure 2: Best- and worst-case forecast of china retail sales of bottled water, by volume, 2010-20
          • Key players
              • Figure 3: Value market share of leading brands, 2015
              • Figure 4: Volume market share of leading brands, 2015
            • The consumer
              • Unflavoured still has the highest penetration
                • Figure 5: Preference of different bottled water types, November 2014 versus December 2015
              • Domestic dominates while international appeals to high earners
                • Figure 6: Preferences for domestic and international bottled water products, by netting, December 2015
              • Gender is a key influential on purchasing channels
                • Figure 7: Channels used when purchasing bottled water, by gender and age, December 2015
              • Lower city tier residents have higher premium brand awareness
                • Figure 8: Attitudes associated with premium bottled water, by cities, December 2015
              • What we think
              • Issues and Insights

                • How domestic products maintain competitiveness and consumer confidence
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                      • What does premiumisation mean to consumers?
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • The opportunities for e-commerce to target online shoppers
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                  • Overall upward trend and market upturn projects growth
                                    • Future market posts certain growth
                                      • Water pollution drives bottled water consumption
                                        • Implementation of bottled water regulatory
                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                            • Figure 9: Best- and worst-case forecast of china retail sales of bottled water, by value, 2010-20
                                            • Figure 10: Best- and worst-case forecast of china retail sales of bottled water, by volume, 2010-20
                                            • Figure 11: Value and volume retail sales for bottled water in China, 2010-20
                                        • Market Drivers

                                          • Water pollution drives consumption
                                            • Implementation of the existing regulatory system overhaul
                                              • Online shopping boom provides an abundant source
                                              • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                • Purified bottled water dominates the market
                                                  • Market players focus on competing with price and packaging
                                                    • Beauty claims to attract females
                                                      • Innovations of consumer-specific waters
                                                      • Market Share

                                                        • The leading players
                                                          • Master Kong
                                                            • Wahaha
                                                              • Nongfu
                                                                • C'est Bon
                                                                  • Runtian
                                                                    • Figure 12: Value market share of leading brands, 2015
                                                                    • Figure 13: Volume market share of leading brands, 2015
                                                                  • Market structure of bottled water and brand representatives
                                                                    • Figure 14: China’s market structure of bottled water by volume share, 2015
                                                                • Competitive Strategies

                                                                  • The price war
                                                                    • Compete with packaging
                                                                      • Glass bottled and consumer segment specific – Nongfu Spring
                                                                        • Mineral water packaging change – Master Kong
                                                                          • Ethical and environment claims via packaging – 5100
                                                                          • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                              • Not just water – Beauty enhancing
                                                                                • China market - Flower extract (rose)
                                                                                  • Figure 15: The Rose Water (Hua Yu Man Tian) in China, November 2014; Rose Water (Jiu Duo Mei Gui) in China, December 2012; the Red Rose Water Drink (Hong Mei Gui) in China, July 2010
                                                                                • International market – Anti-ageing
                                                                                  • Figure 16: Beauty Water Vortex Minuman Kecantikan in Indonesia, October 2015; VitalZing Collagen Morning beautiful tropical flavoured water, and evening beautiful peach flavoured water in New Zealand, February 2015
                                                                                • Not just water – Consumer specific
                                                                                  • China market – Baby water and teen water
                                                                                    • Figure 17: The Nongfu Spring baby water in China, May 2015
                                                                                    • Figure 18: The Nongfu Spring teen water in China, May 2015
                                                                                  • International market – Health water
                                                                                    • Figure 19: Assist Water in Japan, January 2016, and Detox Strawberry Kiwi Flavoured Water in India, December 2014
                                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                  • Unflavoured still has the highest penetration
                                                                                    • Majority prefer domestic while high earners prefer international
                                                                                      • Gender is an influential on purchasing channels
                                                                                        • High-quality water sources as the most premium association
                                                                                          • Lower city tier residents have higher premium awareness
                                                                                            • Meet the Mintropolitans
                                                                                            • Preference of Different Bottled Water Types

                                                                                              • Unflavoured still water has the highest penetration
                                                                                                • Flavour is a key differentiator for still water while income is for sparkling
                                                                                                  • Figure 20: Preference of different bottled water types, November 2014 versus December 2015
                                                                                                  • Figure 21: Preference of sparkling bottled water, by monthly household income, December 2015
                                                                                              • Competitions among Domestic and International Bottled Water

                                                                                                • Majority favour domestic bottled water with Nongfu being the most aware
                                                                                                  • Higher earners have greater tendency to consume international waters
                                                                                                    • Mineral water is the most consumed type among all
                                                                                                      • Figure 22: Preferences for domestic and international bottled water products, by netting, December 2015
                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Preferences of domestic and international bottled water products, by gender and monthly household income, December 2015
                                                                                                  • Channels Used When Purchasing Bottled Water

                                                                                                    • Offline channels especially supermarkets still preferred by overall consumers
                                                                                                      • Gender as a main influential on purchasing channels
                                                                                                        • Home delivery service is most significant for online consumers
                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Channels used when purchasing bottled water, December 2015
                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Channels used when purchasing bottled water, by gender and age, December 2015
                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Reasons to purchase bottled water online, December 2015
                                                                                                      • Attitudes Associated with Premium Bottled Water

                                                                                                        • High-quality water sources associated the most with premium
                                                                                                          • Lower city tier residents have higher premium brand awareness
                                                                                                            • Gender is a premium differentiator on function and ingredient preferences
                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Attitudes associated with premium bottled water, December 2015
                                                                                                              • Figure 28: Attitudes associated with premium bottled water, by cities, December 2015
                                                                                                              • Figure 29: Attitudes associated with premium bottled water, by gender, December 2015
                                                                                                          • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                              • Group 1 – Premium Drinkers
                                                                                                                • Demographics and characteristics
                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                    • Group 2 - Domestic Brand Lovers
                                                                                                                      • Demographics and characteristics
                                                                                                                        • Opportunity
                                                                                                                          • Group 3 - Conspicuous Devotees
                                                                                                                            • Demographics and characteristics
                                                                                                                              • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                • Group 4 – Take-all Converters
                                                                                                                                  • Demographics and characteristics
                                                                                                                                    • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: perceptions about bottled water from different consumer groups, by cluster groups, December 2015
                                                                                                                                  • Mintropolitans

                                                                                                                                    • Demographics and characteristics
                                                                                                                                      • Lifestyle
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: demographic profile of Mintropolitans versus non-Mintropolitans, by gender, age, and monthly household income, December 2015
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 32: demographic profile of Mintropolitans versus non-Mintropolitans, by children in household, city tier, and education level, December 2015
                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Methodology and Definitions

                                                                                                                                        • Methodology
                                                                                                                                          • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                                                            • Mintropolitans – Definition
                                                                                                                                              • Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                              To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                              Bottled Water - China - March 2016

                                                                                                                                              US $3,990.00 (Excl.Tax)