There is no need to say that water is a compound oxygen & hydrogen. Water is a precious natural gift and it is very which is very crucial for survival of human being. The water used for drinking purposes should be clean & pure which does not contain any impurities. 80% of the human metabolism consists of water. This is the reason why 90% of human diseases are water borne. As this fast reflects the need of pure water in human’s life people are more interested in having pure water in their life. Unfortunately sanitation & hygiene is lacking in India because of which Bottled water industry is one of the most flourishing sector in India. The given study will assess the consumer’s perception & their awareness about Bottled drinking water in Pune city. It has been observed that awareness about bottled water is there among consumers as it treats a pure drinking water, but they are really unaware about different types of bottled water present in market & there use with all other details. Water has its own place in the lives of human so they should know what they are drinking & what they are supposed to prefer for healthy life. This paper will help them for better understanding of Bottled water.
Key Words: Bottled Water, Mineral Water, Consumer Awareness, Packaged Drinking Water
Introduction: The Bottled water industry is one of the emerging & growing industries in India. The bottled water market is growing at a rapid rate of around 20% a year. India’s Bottled water industry is to reach Rs. 160 billion by 2018. (The value notes report).There are around 180 domestic Indian Bottled Water Brands. According to Shilpa Eguvanti, Team Lead (Consulting) at Value Notes, "Even as the industry is on a growth path, smaller local players and the unorganized sector are eating into the market of the established players, often by imitating their trademarks."
Bottled water is drinking water (e.g., well water, distilled water, mineral water, or spring) packaged in plastic or glass water bottles. Bottled industry majorly divides into two segments that is Mineral water & Packaged drinking water. Mineral water is the water that contains minerals. The minerals can be added artificially or it can naturally be in the water. It is believed that water is gotten from a starting place (source) like lake, rivers, or wells, which are the only places where the rich minerals are available. Even water from other places is treated with minerals by artificially adding the nutrients in it. Mineral water is a good source of nutrients and it provides extra benefits during consumption. It does not give off any problems. It becomes expensive as the water undergoes many processes before it is bottled.
Packaged drinking water is the sealed water, which ensures that the water will be safe, clean, and potable for human consumption. There are large number of manufacturers, which has a wide gap between demand and supply. Though, it is safe and clean, it is chemically treated and is not that healthier as compared to mineral water. It may be treated in various manners to eliminate microbial hazard, which anyhow will not contain sufficient minerals in it, or the minerals will be artificially added. It does not mean that the packaged drinking water will cause illness.
Table 1: Comparison between Mineral Water and Packaged Drinking Water
Image Courtesy: recipe-finder.com, in.all.biz
Dr. Ramesh Sardar, 2012 in SUMEDHA Journal of Management, Vol. 1, No 2 April- June, 2012, “A Study on Brand Preference of Packaged Drinking Water in Maharashtra”, and this research article explores the brand preference of packaged drinking water. The detailed analysis of marketing, brand preference of packaged drinking water is carried out in Maharashtra state. As a result, focusing on an industry where brands, marketing knowledge and distribution networks have been important determinants in the growth and survival of firms. It reaches distinct conclusions. The article illustrates the analysis and interpretation of data. Finally it concludes with findings and recommendations of the study which may be useful for general public as even the dealers can understand the dimensions reflecting brand preference of packaged drinking water and impact of all these factors on customer satisfaction.
Jonathan Chenoweth et al. in Springer Science+ Business Media B.V. 2010, Water Resour Manage (2010) 24:4339–4358 DOI 10.1007/s11269-010-9662-4, “Comparison of Consumer Attitudes Between Cyprus and Latvia: An Evaluation of Effect of Setting on Consumer Preferences in the Water Industry” In this study consumer preferences in the water sector are investigated in two contrasting case studies: Cyprus, where there have been significant quantity and continuity of supply issues, and Riga, where there have been water quality issues. While water quality is undoubtedly the main priority of water consumers in Riga, in Cyprus consumers indicate that they prioritize a more reliable service even though many are sufficiently dissatisfied with water quality that they do not drink the tap water. The analysis of consumer attitudes in the two case studies suggests that when water supply is unreliable, reliability takes precedence; once it is reliable quality issues come to the fore.
Craig Schram in his “Health Risk Perceptions, Averting Behaviour, and Drinking Water Choices in Canada” A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Agricultural and Resource Economics. This thesis examines preferences for drinking water in Canada. Probabilistic mortality risk perceptions and other perceived water quality measures are included in econometric models of choice, and assessed for their impact, and value.
Josiane T. M. Queiroz et al., Journal of Environmental Protection, 2012, 3, 324-333, News about Tap and Bottled Water: Can This Influence People's Choices? The given study states that the pursuit of alternative safe water has increased dramatically the world trade in bottled water. Events happened in Canada which changed the population's perception about the quality of tap water, despite all government efforts. Media has an important role to pass on information because there is value judgment in its reports. As a result, this study aims to present recent data from two Canadian newspapers of national circulation, which refer to tap water and bottled water. It used quantitative and qualitative data for this analysis. The study concludes that the media, taken into consideration, provides its readers with important information, but the information can also be ambiguous. Nevertheless, it arouses interest in further research about this subject matter and about protecting water resources.
Somesh Kumar Sharma and R. Srinivasan, in Management Decision Vol. 46 No. 10, 2008 pp. 1465-1481, Perceptions of foreign players for effective positioning in India. The purpose of this paper is to identify facts of effective positioning mechanism for Indian market and develop a model that integrates three essential aspects of international trade, which have not been addressed combined yet. The study explores three statistically signi?cant steps for effective Indian market positioning, which are ?nally summarized into 18 in?uencing variables in contrast to 91 variables available in literature.
Need for the study:
It is pointless to comment that water, a compound of Hydrogen and Oxygen is a valuable natural gift which is very essential for survival of mankind including animals. The water used for drinking purposes should be free from undesirable impurities. 80% of the human metabolism consists of water. This is the reason why 90% of human diseases are water borne. As this fast reflects the need of pure water in human's life people are more interested in having pure water in their life. Unfortunately sanitation & hygiene is lacking in India because of which Bottled water industry is one of the most flourishing sector in India.
Water has its own place in the lives of human so they should know what they are drinking & what they are supposed to prefer for healthy life. This paper will help them for better understanding of Bottled water.
Scope & Limitation of study: There are majorly two types of Bottled water is present in the market but awareness about them and use of them is not at the par. Consumers are using Bottled water but they are having lack of information about product which they are consuming. People are aware about packaged drinking water but they cannot differentiate between packaged drinking water & Mineral water. So one of the major objectives of the study will 'understand of consumer of product. Bottled industry has many local player or we can say huge unorganized market also present in this industry. Also there are many “me too” types product present in the market which may lead to wrong direction to consumers. It is also important to see all manufacturing details as water plays crucial role in the human body. The given study will assess the awareness & perception about Bottled water among the consumers in Pune city. The given survey will be focused on limited geographical are i.e. Pune city from which respondents will be selected.
Objectives of the study:
Findings & suggestions:
It has been observed that majority of people are consuming Bottled water. Survey shows that 97% of consumers are using Bottled drinking water.
It has been seen that the majority of population of given study were aware about different brands present in the market. Bisleri & Kinley are known by all respondents as researcher has got 100% awareness about them. Wherein Oxyrich, Aquafina,& Bailley are also have good awareness among consumers as there awareness is 90%, 90% & 83% resp. Himalayan water brand is known among 56% of given population. There are few other brands name are also given by respondents but there awareness is very low. They are Mcdonald, Danone water & Tata water.
To understand the approach of consumer towards bottled water there interest in different factors or informative factors has been surveyed. It has been observed that majority of population is looking for brand and manufacture. Wherein very few seem to be interested in Date of manufacture & expiry of Bottled water.
It has been also noticed that many i.e. 87% respondents are not preferred local brand of Bottled water wherein very few i.e. 13% are preferred local brands.
It has been observed that respondents have their own brand preference where they feel there preferred brand is reliable and can fulfill there need.
It was really remarkable that though consumers are having their own prefernce among different brands, but still they have to change their preferece at the time of actual purchase of product. There are different situation under which consumers are changing their prefernce for final purchase. Majority i.e. 88% respondents are saying that they have to change their decision because of unavailability of preffered brand at retail shop.
It is found that 60% of sample population was not aware that there is expiry date for bottled water. It has been assumed by majority of respondents that there is no expiry date for Bottled water which not actually a fact. Factors like core product & packaging plays an important role for expiry date of that product and likewise Bottled water also has their life span.
It has been also seen that the technical difference between packaged drinking water & Mineral water is not known by 67% of respondents. Majority of respondents are having their own perception about bottled water.
With the help of findings researcher has concluded that people are aware about Bottled drinking water & different brands available in the same. But at the same time it is noticed that people don't know about different types of Bottled water which is actually very important. As Mineral water & Packaged drinking water has different process of manufacturing as well as it contains different values, consumer must understand this difference. Both of them are not at all harmful to human body but they also have different life span which is reflected through expiry date. This is very important because after expiry date of product it may have adverse effect, which may have direct effect to health as water plays crucial role in the human body. But unfortunately majority of people are not aware about this fact of Bottled water. Also People are not aware about actual contents present in mineral water & packaged drinking water. Again here it is very easy to recognize that Mineral water contains mineral. But what about packaged drinking water? Majority of them are really not aware about content information of packaged drinking water.
People are also not aware about detail contained & at least major difference between Mineral water & Packaged drinking water. Majority of them have wrong perception about the product they are using, like Package drinking water is not chemically treated, Mineral water is synthesized product, and has a shorter shelf life. Both these statements are actually false but majority of them has supported which shows their wrong perception about Mineral water & Packaged drinking water.
Because of this unawareness many unorganized players in this sector are taking undue advantage & selling their products to consumer, which is very dangerous & harmful to consumers.
Appropriate information & promotion is very important to increase the awareness about Bottled drinking water. This will lead to consumer to choose their right & essential product from the market.