The Business of Bottled Water
Fairs and festivals are known for having high calorie foods. With more and more vendors starting to recognize that healthier options are what consumers are looking for, many vendors are taking the opportunity to upgrade their beverage options, as well.
The business of selling bottled water is evolving and here are some of the latest trends from the industry.
Bottled Water Sales Are Increasing
There has been a growing trend for military facilities, schools, and other organizations to switch from soda, which is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, to bottled water.
Recent studies have also found that the amount of soda being sold in the US has significantly declined in the recent past. This has been an ongoing trend for quite a few years now and is likely to continue in the future. Bottled water, on the other hand, has seen a significant growth in sales, with sales jumping just over 7% in the year 2013.
Experts anticipate that the amount of water being sold in the US will soon overtake the amount of soda being sold despite the fact that brand loyalty isn’t quite as strong with bottled water as it is with carbonated soda.
However, big-name companies that make soda are getting in on the action. For instance, both Coca-Cola and Pepsi have begun selling bottled water in addition to their carbonated sodas. The writing is on the wall and it is clear to see that bottled water has a very bright future while the future of soda remains uncertain.
Bottled Water Brands Compete to Stand Out
That isn’t to say, however, that bottled water is perfect. There are definitely a lot of downsides as well. One challenge faced by brands is figuring out a way to set their products apart from others that are currently on the market. Some brands have attempted to do this by promoting the unique taste of their water to potential customers.
Volvic has taken marketing to a whole new level with their water. According to the company, their water is unique in terms of the minerals that it includes because of where it was obtained. All of their water is taken from an area of France where there is an inactive volcano. The company claims that the volcano helps filter the water.
Although bottled water generally tastes good and often comes with unique claims about the vitamins or minerals that it contains, it is oftentimes no better than the water that you can get straight out of the tap. In fact, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) conducted a study that found that bottled water was not necessarily any safer than tap water.
That is in stark contrast to the marketing message that many companies use that implies that bottled water is purer and cleaner than tap water. You can read more about this in the latest bottled water market report.
Bottled Water’s Impact on the Environment
Another major drawback to selling bottled water is that shipping it across the country can result in significant carbon emissions.
That isn’t the only way that bottled water can harm the environment. Although it is sold in plastic bottles that are recyclable, only about an eighth of them actually get recycled. The vast majority of them find their way into local landfills instead. This is definitely not ideal from an environmental standpoint.
The thing that vendors who are considering offering water as a beverage option is that bottled water is generally not a necessity since there are other options available. For instance, you can offer a refillable water station as well. While doing so won’t earn you sales from the direct purchase of water, it does help to boost your health-conscious brand image by showing that you care about your customers’ hydration and well-being.
Notable Sustainable Water Brands
That isn’t to say, however, that all bottled water brands are ignoring environmental concerns. Instead, there are a lot of brands out there that are taking positive steps to support the environment.
A prime example of this is the company JUST beverages. Based out of New York State, the company is taking steps to reduce the environmental impact of their products by bottling water close to home. The packaging that they use for the water is also unique in that it is partly made from paper that comes from sustainable sources.
The company has convinced the city of Glen Falls, New York to bottle a small portion of its extra water as an additional source of revenue for the local economy. This approach allows small towns to increase their revenue with a resource that is already readily available. JUST also focuses on using sustainable packaging that is made primarily from paper. This is a much better option than the traditional plastic bottles that water comes in.
Other companies in the bottled water industry are also getting on board with innovative solutions. For instance, companies like Boxed Water Is Better and One both are taking steps to either manufacture their products in a way that is more sustainable or to use the money that they earn to benefit people throughout the world through social programs.
Although the ideal solution is for everyone to switch to reusable bottles, it is likely that bottled water will continue to remain popular, simply because it is so convenient.
If you do decide to carry this product, choose water from brands that act responsibly toward the environment.