According to the group, “Bottled water is an estimated $100bn a year industry that only 10 years ago was little more than a novelty market. Thanks to smart marketing, bottled water is now considered to be a necessity, replacing water fountains in community centres, schools and office buildings.
“Buying bottled water is increasingly the only way to quench your thirst in public. Fortunately, smart consumers are beginning to understand that they have been sold a bottle of goods.
“More than 70 municipalities, six school boards and three campuses across the country have phased out the sale of bottled water. That’s the spirit behind Bottled Water Free Day.”
The organisers are urging students across Canada to “Join the global movement against bottled water. Visit bottledwaterfreeday.ca and take the pledge: ‘I pledge not to drink bottled water where public water is available’.”
Well, if you’re in the industry, it’s worth taking a few moments to visit the campaign site and see for yourself what you’re up against. You’ll recognise much of the distorted ‘evidence’ and misaligned facts – and frankly, there’s nothing there that we haven’t all seen or heard before.
I’m going to see what coverage the day actually receives and then I wish I could be a fly on the wall in any Canadian campus in the following weeks. The portability, convenience and great taste of bottled water is a good, low calorie, hydration habit.
My guess is that, on the day, a lot of students will join the campaign. In the days and weeks that follow, I’m also pretty sure that most will return to carrying their bottled water. The industry’s success is due in part to great products, high quality and smart marketing, but also to offering consumer choice, and loyal consumers hate being told what to do and how to behave.
While I’m sure a lot of tap water will be consumed in Canada next Thursday, I’d also guess that for those missing their bottled water, compensation will come in the form of increased consumption of soft drinks. Let’s hope they’re mostly zero calorie!
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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