By James Peterson, Crystal IS
According to a recent survey by the Water Quality Association, 30 percent of residential water utility customers are concerned about the quality of the water coming out of their taps, which is likely one reason that American consumers spent upwards of $16 billion on bottled water last year. It’s also why the water purifier market continues to experience extreme growth and is expected to garner $45.3 billion by 2022 as companies in the space look to better cater to consumer demand.
But concern over water quality is not the only reason for the market’s growth. In fact, we’re seeing five major trends across the globe continue to pick up steam, all of which we believe will contribute to the market’s continued evolution and expansion.
Across Asia, people are living in smaller spaces due to increasing property prices and growth in rural-urban migration. As a result, consumers have a lot less counter and storage space for appliances and look for products that will not only save space but help to eliminate clutter. The water purifier market is addressing this reality by offering products that are smaller in size and have slimmer profiles. In fact, South Korean company Coway’s MyHANDSPAN product line offers purifiers that, just as the name implies, are no wider than the span of your hand. At the 2018 Appliance & Electronics World Expo (AWE 2018) in Shanghai this year, Bosch Thermotechnology announced its Bosch AQ series residential water purifiers, which are designed to fit under the counter and out of sight.
We don’t see apartments in Asia getting bigger anytime soon, so in the meantime, product managers will need to continue to fight for space in consumers’ kitchens by designing smaller and slimmer purifiers.
Re-mineralization for Taste and Health
Alkaline and pH-balanced water has become a growing trend in the bottled water industry, and now, water purifiers want a piece of the pie. Helping their cause is the increasing demand for products and goods in the wellness space, in which brands across the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry are looking to tap into the $30 billion Americans are spending on “complementary health approaches.” One company, Mitte®, offers a smart home water system that not only purifies but enhances water through re-mineralization. Its main selling point? Mitte’s water is not only pure, but healthy.
It’s not just health, however, driving the re-mineralization trend. Taste of water, especially of bottled water, is a hotly contested topic, and trace minerals are now recognized as critical to taste. In fact, BWT, through its patented magnesium technology, releases magnesium back into the water during the filtration process to ensure a better taste. This not only applies to pure drinking water but helps improve the taste of other beverages such as coffee, espresso and tea as well.
Greater Need for Disinfection
Globally, an estimated 2.1 billion people lack access to safe water, of which 289 million reside in Asia Pacific. Many water sources in Asia are heavily polluted with industrial and urban waste, which means the likelihood of encountering E. coli bacteria versus other waterborne viruses is incredibly high. Thus, water purification suppliers have to keep disinfection top of mind, and we’re seeing purifier ratings that deviate from NSF class A/B and shift to revised ratings like 3-log E. Coli. This provides sufficient continuous protection for drinking water systems yet can be accomplished more cost effectively and at a smaller size than higher levels of disinfection.
Real-time Water Quality Sensing
A newer trend in the proliferation of smart home devices is the connected water filter. By providing continual data to app platforms, connected water filters can perform a host of functions from monitoring water quality to telling consumers their daily water intake. These appliances will only continue to get smarter and have the potential to move from residential to municipal. For example, having sensors across a municipal water system could not only alert officials immediately of a contaminant, but could also monitor water levels more accurately and ensure entire communities have access to safe water.
Keep it Sparkling
If you haven’t heard of LaCroix, it’s possible you might be living under a rock. And the craze surrounding the brand, which some have called a cult, has other brands like PepsiCo looking to take advantage. Water purifiers, as they continue to adopt trends present in the bottled water market, have taken bets on sparking water as well. Coway, a company mentioned above, offers one example with its sparking water purifier. Consumers have demonstrated their willingness to pay for higher quality water, and water purifiers are looking match that willingness with offerings that ensure both water quality and the ability to cater to consumer preference.
These are just five trends we’re seeing in the market right now, but as the world continues to move to healthier living and the demand for pure drinking water increases, the market for water purifiers will grow as well, bringing with it a range of new trends we’ll be sure to keep our eyes on. In the meantime, be sure to check out how UVC LEDs are already making a huge impact when it comes to providing greater access to clean water around the globe by visiting https://www.klaran.com/.