Nestlé recently launched Nestlé Pure Life Active, the first alkaline variant of the brand’s bottled water produced locally. This launch is expected to introduce to the Pakistani bottled water market the global trend of functional drinks with nutrients, a trend that is seeing swift growth thanks to higher disposable incomes, concern over the contamination of drinking water, depleting ground water resources and increasing product awareness due to aggressive marketing by major brands.
The bottled water market comprises 150 locals and foreign registered brands, with Nestlé Pure Life taking the lion’s share followed by Aquafina (PepsiCo) and Dasani (The Coca-Cola Company). Other significant players include Atlantis Premium Water, Mt. Fuji Vanadium Mineral Water, PakTurk Bottlers and Qarshi Industries. In 2018, the market was valued at $274.6 million and is predicted to grow to $451.57 million by 2024.
Yet, according to Khurram Zia, Business Executive Officer, Waters, Nestlé Pakistan, the bottled water market is still not growing at full capacity. “The bottled water category in Pakistan is quite commoditised and innovation is not a familiar concept. The beverage category in Pakistan is dominated by sugary drinks. Although consumers are aware of the hazards of sugar intake, there is not a serious intent towards choosing healthier options, which is why Pakistan has one of the lowest per capita consumption of bottled water in the world.”
Nestlé has introduced their new variant in the premium segment, instead of the mainstream segment that the rest of the brands are tapping into. The brand is targeting upscale consumers who lead a fast paced, active lifestyle and are looking for healthier beverage options.
“Our warm and humid climate makes our bodies sweat and lose water as well as electrolytes such as calcium, chlorine, magnesium, phosphate, potassium and sodium as we go about our daily routine. For an active lifestyle, we need to maintain our hydration by consuming both fluids and electrolytes.” says Zia.
To this end Nestlé kept their primary focus on TV, although they also relied on digital media to drive further engagement and insights and according to Zia, the response has been very encouraging. “Both our consumers and our retail partners have welcomed the new concept with excitement and have been curious to know more about this innovation.”
Nestlé’s confidence in the new product is based on strong grounds. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Pakistan stands at 80 among 122 countries in drinking water quality as a majority of the water supply is said to be contaminated with arsenic and various forms of bacteria. Combine these facts with the global trends where lines between water and beverages are blurring, it is not hard to anticipate that Nestlé Pure Life Active is likely to make encouraging inroads into the bottled water market of Pakistan.