Wednesday, March 15, 2006

What's In Your Bottle?

Bottled water just surpassed the sales of bottled cola in the last month. Who would have thunk it? Was bottled water on anyone’s mind 15 years ago? I, however, was not surprised to read this. It was only a matter of time.

In much of my research, I have uncovered many new bottled water offerings. In fact over 200 new bottle offerings appeared last year. At the recent Marketing to Women Conference I discussed two unique water offerings especially created and marketed to women. W2O is spring water, vitamins, natural flavors and the highest quality natural sweetener. Pink2O is packed with over 62% of recommended daily values of vitamins B3, B5, B6, B12 and Folic acid and 25% of vitamin C, E, Selenium and Calcium; the vitamins and minerals that women need most. (The two are almost identical in their approach to reaching out to the female demographic -- Find out more in my special report.....If you Package It, Will She Buy?)

Industry analyst say consumers have embraced bottled waters of all types. Water for women, kids, dogs and so on. Aquifers, icebergs, artesian wells, you name it and there is a water for it. Ever wonder why FIJI water is so expensive? Water is heavy and its costs a lot to ship it around the world. Even more bizarre, I just read about the "most pure" water in the world. This water is extracted from fruit. The claim is the trees do the filtering making it extra pure. My question is "does it really taste like water?"

I'm interested in the bottle too. A question that arises for me is what is going to happen to the "bottle" of choice with all these water offerings and competing beverages. New shapes and new features like bottle caps that impart fragrance or the essence of a smell abound.
Every new offering seems to have a different message too: health, nutrition, functional, enhanced, fortified and even REAL water. And don't forget all the cross over products like Gatorade and the new fusion drinks.

An even more important issue is what's tomorrow's bottle going to be made out of? With the volatility of plastics pricing, I'm sure quite a few water companies are getting nervous. And don't forget the environmental aspects of the plastic bottle. Activists are seeing the bottles as more problematic than the issue of draining the water sources dry. For the most part, the plastic used for bottling water is food-safe PET, polyethylene terephthalate, which is itself made from oil. In fact, it was the invention of PET in the 1970's that made the water bottle possible. Most recently questions have arisen about "heavy metal" contaminates in the water bottle itself. So far this is only considered to be trace amounts but keep your eye peeled for more news on the topic.

Now, according to the Container Recycling Institute, a California-based group, "about 90 percent of PET bottles tossed out by Americans end up not in recycling centers but in landfills, at a rate of 30 million a day." So, watch for the environmental issues around disposability to heat up.

Last month, Biota launched the first spring water bottle made of a biodegradable plastic called PLA, which is made from corn. Remember my packaging trend #8 out of 13 for 2006? The media is hot on the environmental trail. So if you have a package that addresses that concern, now is the time to pitch your product.

Here is what the Bioata company had to say in a recent release.
<<(March 13, 2006) TAMPA, FL -- Natural spring water may be good for your health, but the water bottles are wreaking havoc on our environment. With the introduction of the first-to-market PLAnet Friendly water bottle, BIOTA Brands of America, Inc, plans to change that startling fact. Packaged in a revolutionary, nature based material, BIOTA bottles are made from an annually renewable resource -- corn, and not a non-renewable fossil fuel --oil. BIOTA Colorado Pure Spring Water is a unique, premium product that supports a passion to do good for people while protecting the planet.>>

Soda, water or some new drink not previously thought of -- You make the call for the beverage of the future. The numbers are staggering regardless of the beverage of choice. Meanwhile, the question remains: What's in your bottle of the future and what is it going to be made out of?


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