Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Prices of different sized bottled mineral water have increased sharply in the market recently, market operators said.

“The prices of bottled mineral water have been increased by 20 to 25 per cent in retail-level within a week, which is putting pressure on the consumers. Sales officers of the water companies are showing various excuses for the price hike of their items,” Md Azim, a grocer at Nilkhet area in Dhaka was quoted by the Financial Express (FE), a local newspaper, as saying.

Another grocer in Old Dhaka said the companies have increased the prices of all the bottles – 0.5 litre, 1.0 litre, 1.5 litres, 2.0 litres and 5.0 litres jar by BDT 3.0 to BDT 5.0 each.

“A half-litre bottle of Mum brand of Partex Group was sold at Tk 12 at retail level, while its wholesale price was Tk 10.75. But its wholesale rate is now Tk 13.75. So, we are selling it at Tk 15,” he said.

Prices of bottled water of Fresh brand of Meghna Group, Jibon brand of City Group, Acme brand of Sinha Group, Pran brand of Pran-RFL Group, Spa of Akiz Group etc have been increased by 20 to 25 per cent both at retail and wholesale levels within a week, they added.

Marketing manager of Partex Beverage Md Akhtaruzzaman told the FE that they have increased the prices of their bottled mineral water after a long time following devaluation of BDT against the US dollar and hike of costs of packaging items and transport.

“Besides, the government has increased fuel prices thrice in this year, which has hiked our transport cost significantly. As a result of all these factors, the prices of bottled mineral water have also been increased,” he said.

Meanwhile, the grocers and consumers claimed that there is no marketing activity visible for the WASA-owned Shanti brand mineral water.

BBN/SSR/AD-29Oct11-2:26 pm (BST)