INDIA: Unclean tap water opens up packaged water sector
Shortage of clean drinking water in India has spurred the trend for packaged water and the home water-purifier industry.
Speaking to just-drinks yesterday (17 April) a Bangalore resident admitted to drinking bottled spring water in the belief that the city's water supply system is polluted. The resident added that the choice of brand was significant.
The most trusted, among hundreds of other spring water brands are Bisleri, Himalya, Aqua-Fina, Kinley Kingfisher, and McDowell's No1, the resident said. Most water brands are synonymous for having margins of at least 20% of the sale price.
Likewise, 32 out of 94 packaged drinking water samples collected and tested by the Chennai City Corporation had tested unfit for consumption.
Chennai Corporation commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni said: "Thirteen companies have been packaging water outside Chennai, but they have been closed down. Another 26 companies are packaging water for the city from outside Chennai and their products have been banned. We have written to the respective jurisdiction officers to take action."
According to a resident of Mumbai's up-market area Khusbhoo Benani, a growing trend among India's middle class is to drink only bottled water or water that has been through a purifier, while millions of Indians who can't afford to drink packaged water are left to the mercy of unclean water running alongside polluted rivers and sewage flows.
Recently Hindustan Unilever, who has a major presence in the personal hygiene and chemicals industry, launched a water purifier called "Pureit" claiming to provide 100% safe water drinking water.
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