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Pure bottled water gains market impetus

1348 Myanmar Times
Bottled water consumption in Yangon and Mandalay Regions has increased since last year, but elsewhere in the country sales are slow, says Dr Sai Sam Htum, chairman of Loi Hein.
The company sells drinking water in litre, 0.6 0.3 and 20-liter size of the brands 'Alpine', 'Light' and 'Blue Mountain'. "Within a year after we launched the company in 2003, sales soared by 73 percent. During the past year, sales have gone up another 5pc", said Dr Sai Sam Htun.
"People in big cities are aware that drinking impure water can cause contagious diseases such as diarrhea and jaundice' he added. But things are different in the countryside, he added. "People living near rivers and streams drink from there, but it could be contaminated" he said.
According to production manager U Aung Myo Kyaw of Yama purified water, awareness of the importance of drinking purified water has grown since Inle Lake and wells in the country ran dry in summer 2009.
"When the hot summer led to water shortages in Tamar takaw villages in Twante last year, we supplied our purified drinking water to the village. They came to see the advantages, and now agents sell purified drinking water". U Aung Myo Kyaw said.
Yoma water comes in 0.3, 0.6 one liter and the most popular 20 liter bottles. "Some Families buy bottled water for cooking and some even install a water purifier in their homes," he said. There is a wide diversity of brands in the market, including Alpine, More, Great, Ngapali, Myanandar, Star, Yaza, Yoma, Nlkka, Crystal light, Cool, Micky, Oasis, Ocean, Parami, Popa Aqua, PMG and King Star.
"I drink water from the tube well for decades without any health problems. In the 1990s. bottled purified water was introduced in the market and our company (Yoma)was set up in 2000. Since then I've been drinking bottled water" said U Aung Myo Kyaw.
According to Yoma, sales have been steady this year. Yoma is distributed to phyar Pone in Ayeyarwasy Region and Kothmu, Konchankone and many townships in Yangon Region.
"We hose the bottles down and brush them clean before filling with water" he saids. Sales agent M Zin Min Aye said "I sell two brands Alpine and Moe Kaung Alpine is more in demand because of the quality - I sell more than 200 bottles a day". Alpine costs K 600 for a 20 liter bottle and 'Moe Kaung' costs K400. "Customers don't count the cost, they consider the quality and purity of water. Some use Alpine for drinking and Moe Kaung for cooking but many drink Moe Kaung" she said.
Her family use bottled water for both drinking and cooking "In the past, we used water from the tube well for drinking but it had an iron content and is unsuitable for health. We health reasons" she added. Maung Lone, owns Golden Brother Store, which stocks Myanandar, King Star, Blue Mountain and Oasis brands with a litre. "In my store, Oasis is the most popular. It costs K 250 a bottle, and the rest cost K 200" he said.

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