There have been several big name partnerships in water filtration products in recent months.
Firstly, Virgin, via its Virgin Green Fund investment arm, announced a new partnership with Strauss Water, best known for its Tami 4 mains-fed water coolers which are omnipresent in Israel and beginning to take a larger market share in the UK.
The Virgin-Strauss Water venture will market, sell and service water products, including home water dispensers and office water coolers. The water will be purified using Strauss’ environmentally friendly technology. The brand will launch in the UK this year with plans to expand across Europe.
Virgin is so confident in the new partnership that's has hired probably Britain’s most iconic advertising agency, Saatchi and Saatchi, to build a campaign for the new launch. It will be very interesting to see how this develops and how far a major marketing budget can go in bringing about real change in the consumers' mindset.
The second major announcement was the new equal partnership between major filtration firm Brita and drinking water systems company Vivreau, a big step for both companies in terms of moving into new markets and customer spheres.
These companies have a lot in common: both started out as family businesses from scratch and worked their way up to the top. Commenting on the partnership at the time, Markus Hankammer, CEO of Brita, said: “We have similar corporate cultures and both regard our products as an ecologically meaningful alternative to bottled mineral water. Most importantly, our product ranges and target groups are complementary and we have a first-class offering for our global audience.”
While Brita is perhaps best known for residential filtration systems (although it has partnered with water cooler companies such as Eden Springs for commercial systems), Vivreau is big in the corporate world (it supplies 75% of the UK’s top 100 companies) and the growing Horeca sector.
Both these new partnerships go to show that there's a growing confidence in the water filtration market from big business, and that consumers across all sectors are becoming more accustomed to drinking filtered water in the home, the office and out in restaurants and bars.
Let’s wait and see who the next major player will be.
Hannah Oakman is editor of Cooler Innovation magazine