China will remain world’s largest bottled water market to 2021, says GlobalData

The ever increasing thirst for quality water and health-conscious drinking habits will mean that China retains its position as the world’s biggest bottled water market to 2021, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Growth in disposable income is also expected to help the country’s bottled water market stay ahead of major nations like the US, India, Indonesia and Germany, in terms of volume.

During 2016-2021, GlobalData expects China’s bottled water market to expand at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.42% and lead the global market with 57,903.90 million litres expected to be consumed in 2021 alone.

Per capita consumption of bottled water has been on a steady upswing, from 23.6 litres in 2013 to 29 litres in 2016, and is expected to further rise to 30.8 litres in 2017. This consumption pattern is propelled by the improving quality and fast pace of life, which can be seen to steer consumers towards the use of bottled water over barrels of water. This trend is more evident in urban areas where 57.4% of the population resides. Moreover, the quality of tap water in much of China is not high enough to drink.

Ellen Rivers, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, says: “Growing purchasing power has seen consumers spending more on high-end products. Factors such as exposure to brands and large-scale marketing have served to tip the scales in favour of premium bottled water.”

This segment has witnessed a huge surge in the last few years – jumping from a meagre 45.7 million litres in 2013 to a whopping 520.6 million litres in 2015.

GlobalData has also found that 74% of Chinese consumers pay more attention to packaging materials and capacity when choosing food and beverages, noticeably higher than the global average of 51% of consumers.

Rivers notes: “Packaging is essential to the perception of consumer satisfaction. Trends show that glass packaging, small packages and PET material will have a decisive impact on purchasing choices in China.”

Information based on GlobalData’s Consumer Intelligence Center

Analyst available for comment. Please email the GlobalData Press Office at

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