The main impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sales of bottled water in Thailand during 2020 was the dramatic decline seen in volume sales in the foodservice channel. The principal reason for the very unfavourable on-trade performance seen during the year was the unavailability of restaurants, bars, pubs, cafés, specialist coffee shops and nightclubs for an extended period due to the government-mandated shutdown of the entire hospitality industry.
As drinking water is one of the most important items for the vast majority of Thai households, bottled water was one of the products that was subject to widespread stockpiling among the Thai population during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, bottled water in bulk packaging proved a particularly popular item among stockpiling consumers, including multipacks of bottles between 500ml and 2L in size, as well as very large bottles in excess of five litres and even larger than 10 litres.
As mentioned above, the government-mandated shutdown of Thailand’s entire hospitality industry for an extended period in response to the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020 had a devastating impact on on-trade sales of bottled water generally. Within this paradigm, carbonated purified bottled water faced a particularly grim year as sales of these products were accounted for mainly by nightlife venues such as late-night bars, nightclubs and discotheques.
While the bulk of bottled water sales in Thailand are accounted for by still bottled water for at-home consumption, the category’s leading players remain involved in innovation and the development of new products in an effort to generate higher profits from value-added products. Towards the end of the review period, innovation focused mainly on healthier products and this is likely to be the major theme in terms of innovation in bottled water during the early stages of the forecast period.
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded over the course of 2020, consumer demand for bottled water continued to increase steadily, not least due to the stockpiling seen in retail outlets during the early stages of the quarantine lockdown period during March. The burgeoning demand that has been seen for bottled water in Thailand over the course of the year was partly underpinned by increasing health-consciousness among local consumers, with the threat of contagion at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic motivating many consumers to drink more water to improve their immune systems and reinforce their resistance to viral illnesses.
Among the most notable impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Thailand’s wider economy and society during 2020 was the closure of the country’s borders to foreigners. This measure was taken to curb the international spread of the COVID-19 virus and reduce the risk of foreigners bringing the virus into the country and spreading it among local communities.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Bottled Water industry in Thailand with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Bottled Water research and analysis database.
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