Consumers being more cautious about the purification of drinking water has resulted in growing awareness of atmospheric water generation technology company Aqua Air Africa’s atmospheric bottled water, says Aqua Air CEO Keamogetswe Matsho.
The company’s atmospheric water generating technology extracts humidity from the air, which is filtered, condensed and then processed using an additional multistep filtration and ultraviolet sterilisation system. This ensures that purified water without any chemicals is produced, she adds.
“Our water source – which is the atmosphere – is what makes our bottled water different to other usual brands of bottled water.
“Additionally, the taste of the water is quite pure and natural as it is chemical free, making it a preferrable healthy choice,” she says.
Matsho explains that about three out of five households in South Africa prefer bottled water instead of tap water. This is based on research conducted by the Aqua Air’s team as it continues to explore ways to make life easier and change the face of bottled water in the country. This gives the public the assurance that the water is purified and handled with caution, particularly amid Covid-19.
Aqua Air has long-term plans to increase its product offering by including larger sizes of bottled atmospheric water, such as 1.5 ℓ, 2 ℓ and 5 ℓ bottles. The company currently offers 330 mℓ, 500 mℓ, and 750 mℓ glass bottles.
“This will eliminate the need for filters for drinking water in households, consequently saving replacement and maintenance costs,” Matsho says.
The company, together with its holding company Moipone Group Investments, has also been donating atmospheric bottled water since the beginning of lockdown to the frontline task team at the Helen Joseph Hospital, in Johannesburg, as part of its Covid-19 relief initiative, she notes.
Moreover, following the launch of Aqua Air’s atmospheric water generating plant, in Pretoria, in November last year, its staff complement has increased from 11 to 34 permanent staff members. This has boosted productivity, in line with increased demand for the atmospheric bottled water, notes Matsho.
The company has also introduced new maintenance procedures and added additional tanks to avoid water waste and maximise production output at the generating plant.
Further, the company received South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) approval earlier this year in May 2020 to have the SABS mark on its products, following the audit by SABS officials. In addition, the company’s plant is SANS 1862 compliant.
“This opened more doors for us and enabled various outlets to list Aqua Air as one of South Africa’s bottled water companies. The company being SABS approval has made it easier for retailers to have confidence in stocking and selling its water because the necessary audit on the production process was completed. We have gradually penetrated the market successfully amid the pandemic,” she says.
The company has also developed and rolled out a distribution model that enables independent sales to individuals and businesses that stock Aqua Air’s atmospheric bottled water and redistribute or sell it to consumers.
“We also saw the need to be closer to the hub of business by securing a warehouse in Midrand, which saves time and allows for more feasible route planning for our drivers,” says Matsho.