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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Industry Special: Domestic water brand takes international award (2)

By Zhang Zhao and Li Jin (China Daily)

11:09, March 20, 2012

Market opportunities

Five years ago, China's high-end mineral water market was dominated by French company Evian, but now more international and domestic rivals are ratcheting up competition.

Another Berkeley Springs award recipient, Canada's Aquadeco, announced in 2008 that it will enter China, and Heidiland from Switzerland plans to invest up to $300 million in China, with hopes of becoming a market leader.

Representatives of JDB also said that there is much space for growth within the Chinese market.

Luo Tan, chairman of the Bottled Drinking Water Association of Guangdong province, said bottled water is "the mostly chosen drink by Chinese consumers". But he noted that in the medium and lower-end market, price competition is very fierce, resulting in low profit margins.

"That's why many companies are turning to the higher-end market," Luo said. "But on the other hand, the higher demand for healthy products among Chinese consumers has also helped the market expand."

A survey conducted by the website CBresearch.com predicted that China will have a high-end mineral water market worth 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in the next five years, with retail value expected to reach 1.3 billion yuan by 2015.

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