More Chinese people are on the move

More Chinese people are on the move

Health fears over traditional water supplies helped push China's bottled water consumption up by 14% last year, with further growth on the horizon, a new study shows. 

Consumption in 2012 hit 54bn litres in China, with the category's market value reaching US$16bn, a 143% rise since 2008, according to a Zenith International report released late last week. The market value is forecast to increase by another 73% by 2017.

“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,” said Zenith regional research co-ordinator Yumiko Magara Wilkey. “General consumer concerns over pollution and purity have helped bottled water to be chosen as an affordable preference.”

Annual consumption per person of 40 litres was well ahead of the Asia-Pacific average of 27 litres, however higher rates in South Korea and Indonesia point to more potential growth, the report said.

The report added that in China there are “significant differences between each region and the market is highly fragmented”.

In September, an analyst said that Coca-Cola had “stubbed its toe” in China's bottled water market and lost ground to PepsiCo this year.