Packaged Drinking Water Industry

Amongst other things, access to clean drinking water is a basic necessity for a healthy living. In India, access to safe drinking water has always been an issue due to several reasons. Overpopulation and scarcity of water resources are some of the major factors. This has resulted in high growth in demand for packaged drinking water.

Industry structure & Regulation
The domestic packaged water industry is highly fragmented and local with more than 1,000 players. The bottled water industry in India is regulated by Bureau of India Standards (BIS) by providing ISI mark. All Indian packaged water manufacturers have to mandatorily obtain the ISI mark from BIS for manufacturing and sale of packaged drinking water or natural mineral water.

In India, there are two categories of packaged water as recognized by BIS:

1. Packaged natural mineral water (PNMW): This is regulated under IS: 13428 and is drawn from a natural source. It should meet the composition standard defined under IS: 13428 and must be bottled without altering the natural composition of water. Some brands under this category are, Evian, Qua, Himalayan, etc.
2. Packaged drinking water (PDW): This is regulated under IS: 14543 and is ordinary water treated to meet the regulatory standards. In this case, any of the processes of filtration/disinfection listed under the IS: 14543 can be used for changing the composition of water before bottling. Some popular brands are, Kinley, Aquafina, Bailey, etc.

Major growth drivers

Demand for packaged drinking water is being driven by
  • Higher disposable income
  • Increased preference for hygiene
  • Improved affordability
  • Easier availability of packaged drinking water
  • Shortage of safe drinking water
Major players

While in the past, Bisleri virtually dominated the organized packaged drinking water industry, today it is competing against multiple local and international players. Some other major players in the branded packaged drinking water industry today are Parle (Bailey), Coca Cola (Kinley), PepsiCo India (Aquafina), Tata (Himalayan), etc.

Also read about Overview of Packaging Industry in India

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