Why is Evian so expensive in China ?

In this hot summertime, let us discuss a refreshing topic today. For those who are interested in China’s water market or marketing to China, this article will suit your need.

Bottled water’s ground in China

China’s water market has been increasing at a rapid pace for years, with an average growth rate between 5% to 12%. As for food safety, water safety is also an important concern in China because of water contamination that happened in the past. Nowadays, the Chinese chose to drink boiled tap water or bottled water instead of using a home water filtration system. Because of the mistrust over water safety in China, the market has grown steadily to become the world’s biggest bottled water market.

Evian, the “Hermès among bottled water” in China

China’s booming beverage industry also attracted a lot of international brands such as Coca-Cola, Danone, and Nestlé. Evian is definitely sitting among the most popular products. The imported product from France is considered high-end water in China.

While in France, a bottle of 1.5L is about 0.50€ (US$ 0.59), in China for a bottle of 33cl it’s almost RMB 10 and in some physical shops, the price can reach RMB 20  (US$ 3.128). Some people say that the cost of water may be only 1 cent!

How does Evian become so high-end in China?

Branding power

Some Chinese forums provide this type of explication: “European and American people like to tell stories of their product. Evian Water is no exception.”

To present it quickly, the source of Evian water in the Alps was first discovered in 1789. There was an elder aristocrat who drank it and healed kidney stones. Napoleon III and his empress were also fond of the water, naming 1864 the town as “Evian” (“evua” means water in Latin). In 1878, the French Academy of Medical Sciences formally confirmed that Evian Natural Mineral Water is beneficial to human health. More important, it is said that Evian water can enhance skin elasticity and beauty, this unique reason can be a great marketing weapon today among Chinese women consumers.

Evian mineral water is often referred to “luxury” product by many people. It is not because it is expensive, but because it is a notch higher.

Collaboration with designer

In order to further enhance brand awareness, many brands will choose to collaborate with internationally renowned designers. Evian takes care of its appearance and also often does this. Since 2007, Evian has brought “fashion” into the water industry …

  • In 2016, with Alexandra Wang, a Chinese fashion designer from New York, Evian launched a limited edition bottle.
  • 2015: with the popular brand Kenzo.
  • 2014: with ElieSaas, a Lebanese designer, Evian launched a beautiful cloud bottle
  • Here for more information 

Chinese people rely a lot on a product’s appearance to make their purchase or not. Brands can play on their product design and packaging to make a difference from competitors and attract consumers’ eyes. Also, it can indirectly increase the sharing on a social network if the design meets people’s tastes.

Advertising power

Evian has never “slacked” in advertising creativity. While Chinese people began to realize the importance of healthy eating, Evian had already grasped the positioning of advertising campaigns early on — health… and high-end. It suits totally with nowadays Chinese consumer’s needs.

However, in China, advertisements for Evian are in fact rarely seen, but its several soft implants can still attract consumers’ eyes. For example, in the popular Chinese drama “Ode to Joy”, many water bottles that Andy (one of the main characters) drinks are shown, all of them are Evian water. Andy has a high income, and high social status, viewed as a super-wealthy and successful woman in the drama, matching the image of Evian in China.

Product Origin

Evian is an imported product from France. Chinese consumers have indeed a huge appetite for foreign products, considering them as quality products. The increase in revenue and development of e-commerce has contributed to leading consumers to these foreign products, more expensive but also more attractive.

Some advice for entrepreneurs

To summer, marketing to China relies a lot on your brand reputation and Chinese consumers’ image of your brand. You have to know clearly what are your target consumers and how are you positioning your product on the market. There is also 2 advice to launch your business in China :

  • Ensure your product or brand visibility online: You need a good SEO on Baidu, the Chinese search engine because as is the case for Evian, and other brands, Chinese people made a lot of research on them. To ensure your reputation and give the best image of your brand, being easy to find is better. To have a Chinese website is the best.
  • For selling products in China, you need to be present on an ecommerce platform nowadays. Chinese are more present online than in physical stores. They are more willing to purchase on ecommerce websites because of the convenience and the greater range of available items. It has become the channel of choice to purchase imported items. The most popular are Tmall and JD.com.

GMA is specialized in digital marketing in China. Our agency offers a complete range of services for e-commerce marketers from e-commerce consulting to digital marketing operations. We have developed many successful e-commerce projects because we know how to effectively promote your e-commerce business in China by using the latest digital tools.

Do not hesitate to leave us a comment below or contact our experts for further discussions.

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