As people's consumption power and awareness of health grow, pure and healthy drinking water has become the choice of more people, which has accelerated the development of China's bottled water industry to some extent. At present, bottled water is one of the largest sub-sectors in China's soft drink industry, accounting for about 20% of China's soft drink revenue, and its annual output far exceeds other sub-sectors.
Statistics show that China's bottled water sales have made rapid growth in the past decade. The annual average compound growth rate in 2012-2017 is 11.8%, and its market share has been the top spot in the national beverage market. It is expected to make another 10% growth in 2019 and assume more than 52% of the beverage market. By 2020, China's bottled water market value is expected to exceed 200 billion yuan, and the prospects are very promising.
In recent years, the retail revenue of China's bottled water market has maintained an annual growth rate of more than 10%. It is expected that the retail sales of will exceed 200 billion yuan.
According to Nielsen’s, in June 2018, the top players in China's bottled water market are Nongfu Spring, China Resources C’estbon, Baisuishan and Master Kong, with market shares of 26.4%, 20.9%, 9.6% and 9.3% respectively and a total market share of 66.2%. Together with the fourth and fifth competitors, Ice Dew and Wahaha, the top six drinking water brands account for about 80% of the market.
In addition to the high proportion of mineral water and the strong growth of the high-end water market, there is a growing trend that more segmentations are emerging based on different needs and functions.
Segmentation: water for feeding mothers, carbonated water, water for children, and other functional products for different consumer needs.
Differentiation: the sources of bottled water are used as an important concept in marketing. In 2018, the major bottled water suppliers began to introduce limited editions and brand crossovers.
Functionality: at present, the function of bottled water in the Chinese market is relatively monotonous: to quench thirst, and there are few functional bottled water products.