Bottled Water: Why Koreans Swear By It

Bottled Water: Why Koreans Swear By It

Have you ever noticed while watching the actors on your favourite KDrama, or a Kpop idol performing; that they only ever seem to drink bottled water? This made me curious, do the people of Korea exclusively drink bottled water, and if so why? Has there been a stigma associated with tap water? Or is tap water not palatable in Korea? Is it a cultural phenomenon, where it just became the accepted form for consuming water? As I strove to find answers, it seemed to be a combination of all these questions.

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제주 지하수 자원의 합리적 보호와 지속 가능한 발전을 위한 제10회 제주물 세계포럼에 다녀왔어요! 물과 건강(Water & Health)를 주제로 강연, 토크 콘서트 등 유익한 프로그램이 진행되었는데요. 삼다수 출시 20주년을 맞이하여 더욱 빛났던 제10회 제주물 세계포럼으로 함께 떠나볼까요? . 💧지금 가면 좋은 제주, 제주물 세계포럼 방문기가 궁금하시다면, 삼다수 스토리를 방문해주세요! . 네이버에서 '삼다수' 검색 후 '공식 포스트' 클릭! . #제10회 #제주물세계포럼 #삼다수출시 #20주년 #제주 #삼다수 #제주삼다수 #jeju #samdasoo #jejusamdasoo

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If you asked a Korean on the street do they drink tap water you would more than likely get a resounding negative. Most Koreans either drink bottled water or have a purified water system in their homes. Statistically, a staggering 90 percent of Koreans drink filtered or bottled water. Several factors may have caused this abhorrence to tap water. Older pipes, taste from bleach used to clean the water and just a general believe bottled water is healthier. The Korean government has assured the population that tap water is safe, (Korea ranks 8th in the world for clean water according to the WHO.) Public campaigns have been run to get the public to consume more tap water, but it seems to be to no avail, the bottled water industry is projected to make an approximate 1 trillion won by 2020

If you visit a Korean convenience store you will usually see over 30 different types of bottled water with the most popular being Jeju Samdasoo. Prices for bottled water can range from as low as 470 won for a 2-litre bottle (Bongpyeong Spring Water) to as high as 1800 won (Evian, Volvic)

Many Koreans say you can taste the difference in taste and quality between tap water as well as the different brands. But in a Youtube taste test, a few Koreans had trouble telling the difference between bottled water or tap water.

Whatever your choice of water is if you choose to drink tap water be aware that you may get a strange look or two from the local population.

Cover Image: Cho Kyu-hyun - Super Junior (SM Entertainment)

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