The bottled water industry is estimated around Rs46000 crore in India wherein 70 percent of the bottled water industry is governed by unorganized players in the market. However, the water industry in India has witnessed tremendous growth in recent years. The growth has been driven by several factors, including increasing consumer awareness and growing demand from Tier 2 and 3 markets.
A recent study by the United Nations ahead of World Water Day, says India’s bottled water market grew at a 27% compound annual growth rate, the second-fastest in the world after South Korea at 28%, during 2018–2021. India was the 12th largest consumer of bottled water by value and the 14th biggest by volume in 2021.
Industry experts predict the bottled water market in India is estimated to cross $36 billion by 2030from $22.7 billion in 2022, showing that the industry is growing with a 6 percent CAGR.
One of the major contributing factors to this shift is the changing preferences of consumers, who now favor well-established brands due to a heightened focus on health consciousness. Concerns about the quality of unorganized packaged water have also played a significant role in driving consumers towards packaged drinking water, particularly since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which further emphasized the importance of health and safety.
Additionally, the shift from the unorganized sector to organized players can be attributed to improved taxation regulations, licensing, trademarks, pollution control board, and compliance with Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) have become mandatory, leading to the elimination of unregulated players who could not meet the stringent hygiene norms and government regulations.
Organised players in the industry have swiftly adapted to changing consumer preferences, offering a wide range of products, including mineral water, flavored water, and alkaline water, to cater to diverse choices.
To maintain their market presence and capitalize on opportunities for growth, leading water brands are investing heavily in building strong brand equity and top-of-mind recall among consumers. Collaborating with prominent Bollywood stars is one such strategy employed to gain trust and appeal to a broader audience.
Innovation is a crucial aspect of the packaged water industry, and organized companies are devoting significant resources to research and development. They aim to introduce creative packaging while emphasizing sustainability practices to meet the evolving demands of environmentally conscious consumers.
Looking ahead, the prospects for India’s packaged water industry appear exceptionally promising. Organised players, with their emphasis on innovation, customer satisfaction, and sustainability, are well-positioned to capitalize on the numerous opportunities for growth in this thriving sector.