Starting Bottled Water Business: Here’s What You Need to Know

Starting Bottled Water Business: Here’s What You Need to Know

Selling bottled water in Kenya is one of the businesses that require low capital to start. The ease of starting a bottled water business is what has encouraged most entrepreneurs to take part in it. For example, if you walk in any street in most Kenyan towns, you will not miss a chance to see a vendor selling bottled water.

Many Kenyans today are afraid of drinking tap water, hence, the increase in the sale of bottled water. Some people also prefer to take water because it is a cheaper and healthier alternative to soft drinks.

Why bottled water business

People enter into the bottled water business for various reasons. The first being, the ease of starting a bottled water business if you have little capital. You can also do it to make a profit, to be proud of owning a business, and lastly if you have a passion for it.

You can either sell bottled water as a retailer or a wholesaler, depending on your budget. Whichever you choose, you should first find a source of water that you will be selling from. If you decide to be a retailer, then you won’t need packaging materials, but as a whole seller, you may require packaging material, unless you are distributing for a company.

Before you embark on starting your bottled water business, you should have a clear business plan. This way, you are less likely to overlook any major area of concern. A business plan will also enable you to know whether you will be making profits or not at the end of it all. You don’t want to start a business and abandon it halfway because you don’t have enough funding to run it. A well-written business plan will help you solve all these.

Cost of starting a bottled water business

As stated above, there are various ways in which you can do this business. However, we are going to discuss how to sell bottled water as a producer.

The amount of capital you will need is dependent on the equipment you will need, the marketing strategy, and shop rent for your water bottling plant.

As a bottled water producer, you will need to acquire the relevant machinery for the business, and this is where the huge chunk of the capital goes. You can purchase an automatic, semi-automatic, or manual machine. You can even use a domestic purifier when starting. All these depend on the amount of money you have.


The type of equipment to buy will also depend on the water source as well as the market density. The larger the market/demand, the larger the equipment needed. These equipments are available at most companies that sell water/borehole accessories like Davis & Shirtliff, and they cost betweenKsh. 175,000/- to Ksh. 700,000/-.


The location of your shop is very crucial to the success of your business. As a bottled water manufacturer you need to take your time and study the demand for your product. Is your shop location accessible? Do the people around you consume bottled water regularly? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself when choosing a location for your water bottling plant. The answer you get will determine how you will market your final product.

Quality Test and Certification

Ensure your water is tested for quality before you sell it. Water testing is done before and after treatment. This enables you to know what impurities are present in your water, and if they have been removed by the treatment. Ideally, water testing is best done before the purchase of the treatment plant.

This helps you to determine the type of treatment plant you need to buy. The water testing process will cost you between Ksh. 700/- to Ksh. 5000/-. If your water passes the quality test, you will get a certification from KEBS (Kenya Bureau of Standards)


Starting a bottled water business can be very expensive if you do not control your operational costs. It is advisable to start by purchasing a smaller water treatment plant and expand later. Secondly, don’t spend money on unnecessary purchases until your demand justifies the purchase, only buy what you will need to use at the moment. Finally, you can combine your water business with another business when just starting. This will help you reduce some of the costs.

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