Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/02/2014 -- Given the low access to safe drinking water and the hot weather in Nigeria, bottled water sales remained strong in the country. A high percentage of households in Nigeria, in both urban and rural areas, do not have access to safe drinking water (it is estimated that at least 50% of the population buy water daily). According to Euromonitor International data, the percentage of households with a water supply rose significantly to 30% in 2013, from 19.7% in 2008. However, even at 30%, this is a low proportion. The problem is further exacerbated by the pace of growth of urban areas; Lagos, for example, has grown from 8.55 million people in 2008 to 9.92 million in 2013. Local authorities struggle to provide services to households, with even the basic services being considered in need of repair. This means that in many households where there is a water supply, consumers believe that the quality of the tap water is not good enough for consumption. On the other hand, in places where there is a functioning public water system, the distribution channels tend not to be trusted to deliver safe drinking water and, in the case of privately-owned boreholes, the purification systems can often be ineffective. Furthermore, the hot weather and limited electricity system has contributed to the growth of bottled water, as many consumers buy chilled water from both off-trade and on-trade outlets. Nevertheless, given the limited incomes of the majority of consumers, the bottled water category is largely populated by small manufacturers who produce pouches of water, popularly called sachet water or pure water.
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The bottled water category in Nigeria is extremely fragmented, due to the numerous brands of pouch/sachet water and low-cost PET bottles. The leading branded operator in 2013 was Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd, with a share of just 1% in off-trade volume terms (2% in off-trade value). Excluding pouch/sachet water, the company would have an off-trade volume share of at least 15%. Benefiting from the quality, reputation, distributional reach and marketing strength of its Coca-Cola brand range, the company has been able to position Eva water as a national premium brand. The brand's distribution reach is built on the back of the Coca-Cola brand's, thus wherever there is Coca-Cola (which has a 28% off-trade volume share of carbonates) there is also Eva. The company has successfully positioned Eva as the brand of choice in the minds of consumers, with the general perception being that it must be good if it is from Coca-Cola.
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