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2004 Bottled Water News


December, 2004

Sri Lanka's Lion beer brewery switches to bottled water to help Indian Ocean tsunami survivors

The Lion Brewery plant in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, has so far produced 120,000 bottles of water for shipment to the affected areas, with Oxfam's help. "With so much loss of life, how could you not help?" brewery manager Nausha Raheem said. Reuters_ 12/30/04

Water bottling plant foes object to hearing
A local official says the state's decision to hold a hearing in Concord on the USA Springs water bottling plant shows "complete disregard" for residents who may not be able to drive an hour to the state capital three days after Christmas.
The state DES Wetlands Bureau is scheduled to review possible impacts on about 16,000 square feet of wetlands in connection with USA Springs Inc.'s proposal to build a 180,000-square-foot water-bottling plant that could draw up to 310,000 gallons of water a day from local water supplies.  Union Leader _ 12/28/04


Investor group buys assets of California's bankrupt Palomar Mountain Spring Water for $1.75 million

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved the sale of Palomar's building, trademark and equipment to a group led by Los Angeles-area businessman Thomas Kizer, who once consulted for Palomar. Founded in 1984, Escondido-based Palomar filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in August 2003 after seeing revenue plunge when the company lost a contract to sell bottled water to Costco. The Costco account was won by Nestle-owned Arrowhead. San Diego Union-Tribune_ 12/11/04

Coke, rivals betting on flavored water

Lemon and raspberry versions of Coke's Dasani water brand will begin arriving in U.S. stores in the first quarter of 2005, while PepsiCo, Coca-Cola's main rival, will launch a new Aquafina water drink called FlavorSplash next year. The product will come in raspberry, wild berry and citrus flavors. Swiss-based food giant Nestle, which already markets Perrier, Poland Spring and other water brands in North America, is joining the fray with lemon, orange, strawberry and raspberry flavored Nestle Pure Life Splash. The companies' new waters contain no calories. At stake is control of a small but fast-growing sub-segment of the $11-billion U.S. bottled water market. Flavored waters, or enhanced waters as they are often called, account for about 4 percent of U.S. water sales measured by volume and about 10 percent measured in dollars. Their growth rate eclipses that of the overall water category. Sales of Gatorade's Propel Fitness Water, the market leader in enhanced waters, grew 48.7 percent in the first nine months of 2004, according to Beverage Digest, an industry newsletter. Gatorade is a unit of Purchase, New York-based PepsiCo. Reuters_ 12/12/04

November, 2004

Ethics cause Naples, Florida to cancel bottled water contract

Cascade Waterworks held the contract to bottle Naples' water which was packaged as Neapolitan Springs Drinking Water. But then Cascade moved 200 miles away to Orlando. The firm wanted to bottle Orlando water and keep the Naples label. Naples City Manager Bob Lee canceled the contract. Naples Daily News_ 11/29/04

Los Angeles couple buys Fiji Water from Canadian billionaire David Gilmour for estimated $50 million
Fiji Water's parent, Natural Waters of Viti Ltd. exports about 45 million litres each year worldwide. It is second to France's Evian in imported waters in the US. The new owner is Roll International, a private company owned by Stewart and Lynda Resnick, which also own Teleflora and the Franklin Mint. Fiji Water, marketed in a distinctive small square plastic one litre bottle with the label "Fiji Water", achieved much of its success by clever product placement in American television dramas including Ally McBeal, The Sopranos, Boston Public and West Wing.  AAP/The Age_ 11/29/04 (logon required)

Once-cozy McCloud, California divided on plan to sell spring water to Nestle

Elected officials struck a 100-year deal to sell the company more than a half billion gallons of water annually for about $300,000 a year. When the contract was signed, it was billed as the way to bring back industry and jobs after the town's sawmill went silent last year. It didn't take long for those who felt left out of the process to raise their voices in protest. Nestle Waters of North America Inc., based in Greenwich, Conn., dominates the market, with a third of all sales in the United States last year from its portfolio of regional, national and international brands that include Arrowhead, Calistoga, Poland Spring, Perrier and Pellegrino. AP/San Francisco Chronicle_ 11/27/04

UK row over Coca-Cola plan to re-open a water well that dates to 250 BC

The company said the move to extract Malvern Hills mineral water in Hereford will not be detrimental to the area. There are records about Walms Well dating back to 250BC and calls have been made for more archaeological studies before water is extracted. BBC News_ 11/24/04

Competitor accuses Serbian government official of favoring Danone in bid to win control of Serb bottled water firm Knjaz Milos

UK-based fund FPP Balkan said the Danone bid was significantly below FPP's. FPP's lawyers in Serbia said they would seek legal remedy from both domestic and international courts and legal assistance from lawyers in the UK and France for lawsuits against Danone's Serbian subsidiary, Apurna. Reuters_ 11/23/04

Danone and NBA basketball star Vlade Divac team to apparently win bid for Serbia's top drinks firm, Knjaz Milos

Market regulators tried to annul French food group Danone's bid for Knjaz but the government stepped in, and Danone claimed it had won the 15-month takeover battle. Instead of a big success, the sale of one of Serbia's best-known brands has cast a harsh light on a government struggling to adjust to market rules. With the involvement of sports personalities and an emotional plea from one of their wives, the battle has at times looked more like a soap opera than a financial transaction. Reuters_ 11/22/04

Danone to sell its Italian bottled water business, Italaquae, to LGR Holding

Italaquae had sales of 150 million euros in 2003, and is the No. 3 player on the Italian bottled water market. Reuters_ 11/19/04

Patented water? What's next, a patent on air?

Carlsbad, California's Bill Holloway has a patent on his Penta Ultra Premium Purified Drinking Water formula ---- and four more pending in Washington, D.C. The 63-year-old scientist's Penta reportedly is the leading pure-water company at health food stores across the nation and Canada, and his family-owned firm reached that peak without any organized marketing program. North County Times_ 11/13/04

Soft drink giant Coca-Cola Co. cuts long-term earnings; it's not about the water

The world's largest soft drink company said it expected weakness to persist next year in North America, Germany, the Philippines and other big markets. Coca-Cola's performance has been particularly disappointing in North America, which accounts for about 30 percent of its total revenues and is often cited as the gauge of its financial health. While the Dasani bottled water, Minute Maid juices and other non-carbonated products have delivered solid, sometimes spectacular growth, the company's flagship Coca-Cola brand has struggled since the late 1990s. Reuters_ 11/11/04

Uganda's Blue Wave bottled water to become more affordable

Blue Wave Beverages Uganda Limited, a $250,000 Chinese investment, has had its spring source approved by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards and is available in most supermarkets and hotels. Yao Shouren, the Blue Wave managing director said it is the only local company with the latest state-of-the-art water processing technology. This helps the company guard against forgery of the product, which is common with mineral water. allAfrica.com_ 11/8/04

French food giant to renegotiate Evian water distribution deal with Coca-Cola - report

Sales of Danone's Evian brand have fallen from $220 million in 2000 to less than $100 million this year, the daily Les Echos said, quoting Danone Finance Director Emmanuel Faber. The profitability of Danone's other water brands has also suffered due to a fierce price war, the paper added. Danone has set a deadline of June 2005 to settle the North American distribution matter. Reuters_ 11/2/04

'High levels' of bacteria found in bottled water

Bottled mineral water, generally considered purer than tap water, is often contaminated with bacteria and fungi, warns a Dutch researcher Dr. Rocus R. Klont. To evaluate the risk of infection from bottled water, Klont, from the University Medical Center Nijmegen, and colleagues looked for bacterial and fungal contamination in 68 commercial mineral waters, one tap water, and one water sample from a natural well. The samples came from nine European and seven non-European countries. Overall, 40 percent of all samples showed evidence of contamination with either bacteria or fungi. Bacteria could be grown in lab cultures from 21 samples. Reuters_ 11/1/04

Japan's mineral water market more than triples in 10 years

The mineral water market of Japan grew 3.5 times in the 10-year period to 2003. In the final year, the market expanded 9.3% to 14.6 billion liters, of which foreign products accounted for 22.6%, according to the Mineral Water Association of Japan. About 450 domestic brands from 300 manufacturers and some 50 imported brands make up a total market of about 500 brands. Mineral water is now an indispensable commodity in modern Japan, although consumption is much lower than in Europe or the United States. Japan Today_ 11/1/04

October, 2004

Bulgaria's deepest spa water lands on market

A new factory for bottling mineral water has opened doors in the village of Voditsa, north Bulgaria, as part of a large-scale investment program of Zlaten Lev Holding. The new bottling facility, Voditsa Bottling, will use the resources of the local spa spring, granted under a ten-year municipal concession. Bulgaria has the biggest diversity of spa springs in Europe, with more than 1,000 kinds from about 250 wells, but only 3-4% of this national treasure is used for commercial purposes. Sofia News Agency_ 10/30/04

Nestle CEO says could still sell Perrier water

Nestle, the world's largest food group, may still put its Perrier water unit on the block unless it manages to boost productivity. Chief Executive Peter Brabeck told a news conference the unit would be sold unless unions agree to the implementation of measures to bring productivity up to group levels. Reuters_ 10/21/04

Japan thirsty for Hawaiian deep-sea water

Desalinated deep-sea water from Kona is the state's fastest-growing export with demand soaring in Japan. Super-cold water sucked up from thousands of feet below the Pacific Ocean's surface is being marketed as healthy, pure, mineral-rich drinking water. Koyo USA Corp. already is producing more than 200,000 bottles a day and says it can't keep up with demand in Japan, where it sells 1.5 liter bottles of its MaHaLo brand for $4 to $6 each.  AP/Forbes_ 10/10/04

International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) announces 2005 officers, board members (click on news items)

Steve Raupe, owner of Eureka Water Co., Inc. in Okalahoma City, OK, was elected chair of the IBWA Board of Directors. New members of the 2005 Board of Directors: Peter Baker, Vermont Pure Springs, Inc.; Patrick Goguillon, DS Waters of America, LP; William Mertes, Culligan International Co.; Robert Smith, Grand Springs, Inc.; and Dimitrios Smyrnios, Nestle Waters North America, Inc. The following will continue terms during 2005: Henry R. Hidell, III, Hidell-Eyster International; Scott Hoover, Roaring Spring Bottling; Phil Susterick, Culligan of Brooklyn Park; Jeffrey Vinyard, Crystal Springs Bottled Water Co.; and Marcus Wren, III, Music Mountain Water Co. Press Release_ 10/1/04

September, 2004

Nestle lifts Perrier sale threat but warns on productivity

The prospect that Nestle would sell Perrier has horrified France, where the world famous green bottles remain a potent national symbol despite Swiss ownership of the brand. Perrier has been bottled since 1863 in Vergeze, southern France, and a sell-off would raise the possibility of production being moved out of the country. The sale was averted after the left-wing CGT union lifted its veto of a plan by Nestle to cut 1,047 jobs. At first it appeared Nestle would reject the union compromise but now the company is in agreement, although it warned workers about productivity. AP/San Francisco Chronicle_ 9/28/04

Doubt over Perrier's future after Nestle rejects union compromise

Leaders of the left-wing CGT union at Perrier's plant in Vergeze in southern France had decided to lift their veto on Nestle's plans to cut 1,047 jobs. But Nestle refused to accept the compromise unless the union also agreed to help implement its program of voluntary job cuts. Although Swiss-owned, Perrier has been bottled at its French source since 1863 and remains a potent national symbol. A sell-off would raise the possibility that production of Perrier-branded water could be moved abroad to another source. Nestle's threat to sell off Perrier prompted intervention by Finance Minister Nicolas Sarkozy to broker a deal with workers' representatives. AP/San Francisco Chronicle_ 9/28/04

New owners for Colorado's Deep Rock Water bring cash to allow 108-year-old company to capitalize on flourishing bottled water market

M2P Capital of Denver and Norwest Equity Partners of Minneapolis bought the Five Points bottled-water company for an undisclosed price. Rocky Mountain News_ 9/24/04

20-cent per gallon tax proposed in Maine ballot issue on water bottling

Nestle Waters North America, owner of the Poland Spring brand, said the proposal threatens more than 500 jobs in its two Maine bottling plants and would almost certainly end its plans to create 200 more jobs with a new bottling plant.
Morning Sentinel_ 9/22/04

French government pressures union over Perrier cuts in effort to prevent sale

The government pressured the country's second-largest trade union, the Communist-backed CGT, to resume talks with Swiss giant Nestle SA, backing a voluntary layoff plan that could avert a Perrier sell-off. Nestle has previously said its 4,800 French employees produce 1 billion liters of water a year -- about the same amount as produced by its 1,800 employees in Italy. Although Swiss-owned, Perrier has been bottled since 1863 at its source in Vergeze, southern France, and remains a potent national symbol. AP/San Francisco Chronicle_ 9/21/04

UK-based hedge fund wins 25 percent of Serbia's leading bottled water firm Knjaz Milos

The deal would still allow the government to sell a controlling stake to another partner. FPP Balkan Ltd, a hedge fund registered in the Cayman Islands also beat two other offers for stakes in the firm -- one from Slovenia's largest brewery Pivovarna Lasko and the other from French food group Danone. Knjaz Milos, dubbed by its workers the Serbian Coca Cola, controls some 60 percent of Serbia's bottled water market. Its sell-off poses a serious test for the fragile coalition government of Prime Minister Vojislav Kostinica, which has to prove its commitment to a market economy while avoiding social unrest and speeding up privatisation to raise capital. Resistance to foreign investors is rising as lLocal businesses demand protection from major foreign supermarket chains that have started to move in.  Reuters_ 9/21/04

France's finance minister weighs in to protect Perrier from Nestle sell-off

France's finance minister intervened in the standoff between Nestle SA and its French workers, inviting a top executive to discuss the Swiss food giant's plans to sell its Perrier bottled water unit. Nicolas Sarkozy plans to meet Tuesday with Nestle Waters France CEO Richard Girardot to work out "conditions for maintaining and developing" the company's activities in France, a ministry statement said. Nestle's water division said it was considering the sale of Perrier after the left-wing CGT trade union blocked a deal to reduce costs through voluntary layoffs. A sell-off was the "favored scenario," it said. AP/San Francisco Chronicle_ 9/17/04

Swiss food giant Nestle SA considering selling French mineral water Perrier after unions block job cuts

Nestle Waters negotiated a deal with unions to offer early retirement to 1,047 workers and replace 276 with new hires. Two unions signed on, but the Communist-backed CGT, which represents a majority of staff, blocked the plan after nine months of talks. The company also announced plans Wednesday to establish Perrier and its other French water brands as stand-alone subsidiaries, preparing the ground for a possible sale while splitting up the company's unions. AP/San Francisco Chronicle_ 9/15/04

Nestle Waters inaugurates Product Technology Centre, its first R&D site entirely devoted to water

Nestlé Waters, worldwide leader in bottled water, inaugurated the centre in Vittel, France. The Product Technology Centre, Water (PTC, Water) is intended to gather all knowledge necessary to rapidly and sustainably develop Nestlé Waters’ business activities. It brings together a wide range of expertise from the environment to science, technology and basic research, thanks to a multidisciplinary team of 80 specialists. The creation of the centre required an investment of 8 million euros.  Press Release_ 9/8/04

U.S. basketball star Vlade Divac pursues plan to purchase a majority stake in Serbia's top mineral water producer, Knjaz Milos, despite takeover bids by four other companies
Divac, center for the Los Angeles Lakers said his company, MAG 12 LLC, signed a letter of intent with Knjaz Milos to purchase a 51 percent stake through a recapitalisation and to complete the process within 60 days. The Serbian-born sports figure could pay at least 100 million euros ($120.7 million). Reuters_ 9/6/04

Kewl International, the hockey-based apparel company, plans bottled water launch in the U.S.

Kewl says it is in advanced discussions with a Canadian natural spring water company to begin U.S. marketing of its bottled water with an as yet undisclosed KEWL brand name. The focus of the marketing effort will be sports venues, such as arenas, clubs and minor/junior league facilities, as well as leading convenience and grocery chains throughout the U.S. Kewl Corporation is testing the market in Canada.  Press Release_ 9/1/04


August, 2004

Use our water, small Michigan town tells Ice Mountain bottler

Evart, population 1,700 in Osceola County, has invited Ice Mountain, a subsidiary of Nestle Waters North America, to buy water that flows from its public wells near Twin Creek. The offer likely will spark new debate over large-scale withdrawals in a state that has very few restrictions. Muskegon Chronicle_ 8/11/04 (logon required)


July, 2004

Coke's bottled-water market share shrinks in United States

New statistics from Beverage Digest show that Coke's overall U.S. water business is growing, but at a lesser rate than the rest of the industry. In the first half of 2004, for example, Nestlés' Poland Spring sold well enough to tie Coke's Dasani for the No. 2 ranking in supermarkets, a huge part of the water market. Some industry analysts question Coke's three-tier U.S. water strategy.  Atlanta Journal-Constitution_ 7/30/04 (logon required)

Water bottles slip by Boston convention security

All containers, including cans, bottles and aerosat sprays, are not supposed to be allowed through security checkpoints, but some screeners have let water bottles through after asking the owner to take a sip from it. The U.S. Secret Service, which is overseeing convention security, is looking into the situation. Said spokesperson Lori Lewis, "There's no way of determining what the substance in those containers really is." Reuters_ 7/29/04

Suspicious cases of bottled water delivered to two Toronto, Canada model agencies

Police are warning companies to be careful when accepting promotional material after employees at the two agencies noticed tampering had occurred with the bottled water that was sent with a promotional letter, police say. Police wouldn't reveal the name of the manufacturer. Toronto Star_ 7/24/04

Hey! Culligan Man bought for $610 million
Buyout firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice agreeds to buy water supplier Culligan International from France's Veolia Environnement SA for $610 million. Northbrook, Illinois-based Culligan is one of the leading U.S. suppliers of water filters and bottled water, with sales of $682 million in 2003. In May, Germany's Siemens bought the systems and services businesses of US Filter from Veolia, whose products range from bottled-water services for homes to the design and construction of large systems for water and waste-water treatment, for $933 million. Reuters/MSN/CNBC_ 7/22/04

Nestle Waters creating joint-venture with Coca Cola in Indonesia's second biggest bottled water company
Nestle said the joint-venture, called Waters Partners Bottling, had acquired a 65 percent stake in PT AdeS Alfindo Putrasetia (AAPS), the number two player in bottled water in Indonesia. Nestle Waters is the global number one in terms of bottled water, with 17 percent of the market and turnover of more than five billion euros ($6.2 billion).

Coca-Cola Amatil reportedly in talks with Australia's Palm Springs bottled water
A successful takeover would give Coca-Cola Amatil a 60 per cent share of the Australian water market. It now holds a 35 per cent share. Last year it paid $300 million to acquire Neverfail Springwater and already oversees 60 per cent of the carbonated drinks market. Melbourne Herald Sun_ 7/20/04

Small Maine group seeks to halt Nestle spring water pumping plan
A one-page, handwritten document filed in Somerset County Superior Court asks for an injunction against further development of Nestle Waters North America's 80 million gallon pumping station and that the Land Use Regulation Commission permit for the station be withdrawn. Opponents of the station say it was approved without proper public hearings and that Nestle should pay taxpayers for the water. Nestle said the bottled water industry is too competitive to pay more than its current taxes and fees.   Morning Sentinel_ 7/13/04

Michigan start-up to bottle water for U.S. military in the Mideast

Premier Manufacturing has a $30 million military contract and owner Marva J. Morris said she has ordered $3 million worth of equipment from a Japan-based manufacturer. Premier expects to produce 3 million bottles of water per week in partnership with Shay Water Co. in Saginaw. Shay will clean the bottles, fill them with purified Bay City, Michigan municipal water, cap the bottles and ship them. Morris described Premier Manufacturing as a second-tier supplier, which means a different company secured the original bottled water contract. She declined to name that company but Clifford C. VanDyke, president of the Bay County Growth Alliance and vice chairman of the Monitor Township Downtown Development Authority, said the contract is tied to Halliburton Co., the general contractor for the rebuilding of post-war Iraq. Bay City Times_ 7/12/04 (logon required)

Arrowhead Spring Water buying Canada's Pure Water Shops bottled water business for about $800,000
Arrowhead Spring Water, a subsidiary of Arrowhead Water Products Ltd. will pay about $800,000 in cash, shares, warrants and a promissory note for the Calgary business, which operates under the names Pure Water Shops and Eau Claire Springs.  Canadian Press_ 7/9/04

USA Springs gets New Hampshire permit to collect 300,000 gallons of water a day
The Pelham-based company wants to build a water bottling plant on its propoerty in Nottingham. The company must still obtain approval to use its wells as sources of bottled water, the state said. Many residents of Nottingham and nearby towns oppose the plant because they fear it will dry up their wells or spread pollution. AP/WMUR_ 7/2/04

June, 2004

Nestle seen reaching deal with French unions over Perrier
The world's largest food group has said it could sell its Perrier water business unless unions agree to planned job cuts it says are needed to raise productivity. But analysts say Nestle and the unions are likely to find a solution. Nestle Waters France, whose brands include Vittel and Contrex, wants to cut just over 1,000 jobs to raise efficiency. In 2003, Nestle made $6.1 billion selling water around the globe, including brands such as San Pellegrino, with Perrier contributing less than five percent of that.  Reuters_ 6/29/04

Pisces, this one's for you
Tennessee's Zodiac Beverages, a subsidiary of Baker Energy, is attempting to capture a portion of the world's $23 billion bottled water market by personalizing bottles with the 12 signs of the Zodiac. ''The label will change each month,'' market analyst Saurabh Modi said. ''We could have predictions one month, famous personalities of that sign the next month, random characteristics or love signs.''And if you don't believe in astrology, churches and other organizations can order Zodiac water with their own logo on the label. Jackson Sun_ 6/29/04

Central Bottling Company (Coca Cola Israel) takes control of Iarael's Neviot mineral water company

According to the agreement signed between the two companies, Coca Cola Israel, which holds 45 percent of Neviot, will purchase Moshe Pudhortzur's 45 percent stake in the water company for $12 million. Haaretz Daily_ 6/28/04

Deer Park, Maryland, once known for pure bottled water is about to get something residents have long yearned for - a public water system
The public water plant, now in the startup and testing phase, is needed for residents' health and to help the small town in western Maryland grow. Ironically, a privately owned spring once made Deer Park synonymous with bottled water on the East Coast. But Swiss food conglomerate Nestle closed it's Deer Park plant in the fall of 2001. AP/WBAL_ 6/23/04

Coca-Cola Co. plant accused of depleting groundwater may be forced to close permanently in southern India, official says
The U.S. soft drink giant stopped production in March at its plant in Plachimada, a village in southern Kerala state, after the state government ordered the company to stop using the groundwater until monsoon rains started in June. But now the village council declines to issue a new operating license. The factory is one of the largest among the 27 plants Coca-Cola operates in India. It makes mineral water and soft drinks. AP/San Francisco Chronicle_ 6/23/04

Coca-Cola Co. close to buying new UK water site just months after it withdrew Dasani bottled water from the British market amid a health scare
A spokesman for Coca-Cola declined to comment on the talks or possible purchase price, but confirmed interest in the site near the village of Hadfield, Derbyshire, which he said produces water of a very high quality and purity.  Reuters_ 6/21/04

Feature: Poland Spring is a 159-year-old Maine icon with a $250 million investment in the state--and still growing

A history of the bottled water company owned by Nestle Waters North America. Portland Press Herald_ 6/20/04

Bottled water for pets takes off 
Seattle-based Springmill Products Inc. begins marketing chemical-free PetRefresh internationally. Try the Parsley-chlorophyll for pets with breath problems; or fish-flavored (using preservative-free Orange Roughy), targeted to the feline crowd. Chicken and natural-flavor varieties are also available. Big News Network.com_ 6/21/04

Coke's water bomb
Few would have predicted that Coke's attempt to launch its Dasani bottled water brand in the UK would prove to be a disaster for such an experienced company. The cost to Coke is thought to run into the millions, but behind the financial loss is the possibility of an even more serious problem. After years of heady growth, sales of Coca-Cola are beginning to flatten out. Bottled water, by contrast, is now the fastest-growing of the soft drinks and Coke still need a successful bottled water for the UK and the European market.  BBC News_ 6/16/04

Just Water International debuts on the New Zealand stock exchange's alternative NZAX as an instant investment darling

Its shares traded at a 36 per cent premium within minutes of its inaugural listing. An initial public offering (IPO) of 25 per cent of the company raised $8.25 million, the first IPO on the NZAX market. At 66 cents, the listing capitalises JWI at $43.6 million, making it by far the biggest company on the NZAX. 6/15/04

Great Lakes water is leaving in millions of tiny plastic bottles
Nestle Waters North America Inc. and others are tapping streams, lakes and rivers that flow into Lake Michigan. Later this month, leaders of the eight states and two Canadian provinces that border the lakes are expected to announce new restrictions on water use. Known as Annex 2001, the pact is an attempt to set uniform standards that can withstand challenges under international trade agreements, which leaders fear could lead to more water exports. Chicago Tribune_ 6/13/04 (logon required)

Coca Cola's Dasani water catching on in Kenya and headed for South Africa and Egypt
Dasani, the second largest bottled water brand in the world was launched in Kenya barely a year ago but is steadily gaining market share in the already competitive bottled water market. East African Standard_ 6/1/04

May, 2004

Former Kansas lieutenant governor accused by state authorities of misleading investors in bottled water venture
Dave Owen, a financial adviser who also is a former aide and top fund-raiser for U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, is accused of encouraging two associates to sell stock in Tuscany Water Inc. to family and friends, even though the pair were not licensed or registered to sell stock. Owen is contesting the claims. AP/Witchita Eagle_ 5/24/04

New York City plans to expand Snapple deal to nonprofits and other groups operating on city-owned land
Under the new plan, 15 percent of gross sales from iced tea, water and chocolate drinks sold from Snapple machines would go to the city, according to Kimberly Spell, a spokeswoman for NYC Marketing Corp. Another 15 percent would go to the organizations where the machines are located. Snapple, a division of Britain's Cadbury Schweppes, already has exclusive rights to sell drinks in city buildings and schools and use the city's name in its advertising. Reuters_ 5/19/04

Russian water bottler set for growth
Narzan, one of Russia’s best-known mineral water companies, has received a loan for $12.25 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development as part of a combined equity investment scheme. The Narzan spring at Kislovodsk, in Russia’s southern Stavropol region, was documented for the first time in the early 18th century and its mineral water has been bottled since 1894. A household name during the Soviet era, Narzan is today widely available in retail outlets throughout the country and is a leader in the sparkling mineral water sector.  Beverage Daily.com_ 5/12/04

Utah town hopes to get rich selling 20,000-year-old water

A tiny town near Park City will sell the water in a unique flexible bottle under the name Park City Ice Water. When you're finished drinking, you can roll it up and put it in your pocket. KSL-TV_ 5/6/04

April, 2004

Elko, Nevada offering anonymous water bottler 500 gallons of free water a minute to locate its 300-worker, $70 million bottling plant in town
Elko City Councilman Glen Guttry said the unnamed company is on the Fortune 500 list.
Competition for the plant is stiff, he said. AP/Las Vegas Sun_ 4/26/04

Arkansas' Clear Mountain Spring Water buys Mountain Valley Spring Company
A purchase price was not disclosed. The combined companies will operate under the Mountain Valley Spring Company name. Arkansas Business.com_ 4/26/04

What would Abner drink?

Mayor of Cooperstown, New York wants to bottle village spring and call it `Doubleday Water'. And she may launch it at an upcoming Bob Dylan/Willie Nelson concert. The town is home to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Current plans call for the label to feature a picture of the village's baseball landmark — Doubleday Field. Cooperstown Crier_ 4/22/04
New Zealand bottled water distributor Just Water International buys Aqua-Cool, the country's largest bottled water delivery business, for an undisclosed sum
Just Water International, owned by Aucklander Tony Falkenstein, already owns the Just Water, Cool Water and the Corporate Water brands. He said the group will continue to focus on supplying water products to the New Zealand business market, and look at overseas opportunities. New Zealand Herald_ 4/23/04

New wave in bottled water - 'enhanced'
The fastest growth by far in bottled water is in this new niche of designer waters that are enhanced with caffeine, extra oxygen or vitamins, or that are said to come from natural sources where springs contain beneficial ingredients. But the manufacturers are not required to offer proof of such claims to the Food and Drug Administration. Columbia News Service/Marin Independent Journal_ 4/19/04

Thinking of starting a bottled water business? The spring water may be free but those bottling costs add up.
Spring water still has to be purified before it's sold to the public. Testing has to be done weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually. Then there is the cost of equipment, buildings and trucks. Youngstown, Ohio, Vindicator/KRT/Miami Herald_ 4/12/04

Malaysia firm to enter local bottled water market and later expand overseas
Kenyir One Sdn Bhd, a joint-venture with state government agency Syarikat Air Terengganu, aims to market natural water obtained from Tasik Kenyir by the end of the year. StarOne Online_ 4/11/04

Bottled water now No. 2 commercial beverage in U.S., says Beverage Marketing Corporation
It has surpassed such venerable beverages as beer, coffee and milk to become one of America's favorite drinks, and it did so very quickly. Press Release/Business Wire_ 4/8/04

When it comes to bottled water, Americans know what they like -- nothing.

It shouldn't taste like anything, smell like anything, look like anything, feel like anything. The European bottled-water drinking public prefers spring water with higher mineral contents, which usually causes a more distinct flavor.  Atlanta Journal-Constitution_ 4/9/04

It's the Water: Tumwater brewery sold for $14 million to All-American Bottled Water Corp.
All-American wants to bottle the Washington state artesian water that helped put Olympia Beer on the map and was the source of its famous slogan: "It's the water." AP/Seattle Post Intelligencer 4/3/04

March, 2004

Near Montreal, water gushes from the ground and  hopeful bottlers battle their agricultural neighbors

For years, municipal elections have been won and lost over the issue of water bottling. Montreal Gazette 3/30/04

Selling bottled water

Most of the U.S. growth is coming from midpriced brands like Aquafina, now the top seller in flat water. New York Times 3/29/04

A new idea for bottled water
Hydraserver: bottled water lines run straight to the kitchen tap. Denver Post 3/28/04

Country artist George Jones gets behind water
He's introducing his own brand of bottled drinking water, George Jones' White Lightning Tennessee Spring Water. Reuters/Billboard 3/27/04

Coca-Cola shelves Dasani debut in Europe after recall
The world's largest soft-drink maker postponed plans to sell Dasani bottled water in Europe after last week's recall in the U.K. Coca-Cola, which gets more than a quarter of its sales from Europe, hasn't rescheduled the introduction, spokesman Kelly Brooks said. Bloomberg 3/24/04

Coke recalls controversial water
Coca-Cola is to recall all bottles of its Dasani water in the UK, after levels of bromate were found to exceed legal levels. The recall is an embarrassment for the drinks giant, which has faced criticism for selling what is treated and purified tap water. BBCNews 3/19/04

Danone will acquire Mexican water company Arco Iris
Groupe Danone, the bottler of Evian water, said it agreed to buy Mexican bottler Arco Iris for an unspecified price to bolster its water-cooler business in the country's second- and fourth-largest cities. Bloomberg 3/16/04

Coke's Dasani - Pure Water or Pure Hype?

Figures from independent beverage research company Canadean show that at least two out of every five bottles of water sold around the world are, like Dasani, "purified" waters, rather than "source" waters which originate from a spring. Reuters 3/4/04

UK inquiry into Coke's tap water
British trading standards officers have begun an investigation of Coca-Cola's marketing of its new bottled water Dasani.
Dasani is sold as "pure, still" water, but this may be incorrect because minerals, such as calcium, are added in the production process. The Independent 3/3/04

Vermont Pure sells retail bottled water business, plant
Vermont Pure Springs has sold its retail spring water business and Randolph bottling plant to Micropack Bottled Water of Natick, Mass. Rutland Herald 3/2/04

UK soft drink is purified tap water

Soft drink giant Coca-Cola says the source for its new Dasani bottled water is the mains supply at its factory in Kent. BBC News 3/1/04

February 2004

Nestle vows to give Coke a "good fight" for the international bottled water market.  Reuters 2/26/04

Donald Trump teams with Laurel Run, a 77-year-old Pennsylvania water company to sell his own label of bottled water at his hotels and casinos. Times Leader 2/17/04
Judge denies Nestle's request for a retrial in Michigan Ice Mountain water bottling case. AP/Holland Sentinel  2/14/04

Parliamentary panel in India upholds findings that Coca-Cola and PepsiCo beverages contained pesticides. Tougher safety standards urged. Groundwater blamed for contamination. Reuters 2/4/04
Ohio moving to require bottled water labels to list source of the water.
Currently, water labeled "glacier," "arctic" or "polar" may come from the local tap. AP/Marietta Times 2/3/04

January, 2004

FEATURE-Coke, Pepsi, Nestle and other rivals face price war in US bottled water market. Forbes/Reuters 1/29/04

Paper manufacturer Impreso announces entry into the bottled water business. Paper business dwindling, officials tell annual shareholder's meeting. Press Release/Market Wire 1/28/04

Nestle looks fo a second spring for its Ice Mountain bottled water. Michigan farmers listen to company proposals.  Grand Rapids Press 1/19/04

Philadelphia schools ban sale of carbonated sodas. Fruit juice, water and milk OK after July 1. Move follows similar ban by New York City. Reuters 1/15/04

New Hampshire water bottler trying again for groundwater withdrawal permit. Opponents argue it will drain wells spread pollution.  AP/Concord Monitor  1/12/04

Nestle enters the South Korean mineral water market. Forms joint venture with Pulmuone, nation's second largest bottled water company. KoreaTimes 1/9/04
India bars the sale of 200 brands of bottled water, including some of the biggest names, for failure to comply with new standards. More than 800 bottlers obtained the new licenses. Times of India 1/9/04

Rite Aid pulls NicoWater from Maine stores, mulls nationwide action. Maine lawmakers take first step toward ban. AP/San Francisco Chronicle 1/8/04

International Bottled Water Association makes its position clear: water with nicotine isn't "bottled water." FDA regulates content and packaging of bottled water, association says. IBWA Press Release 1/8/04
Indiana conservationists urge tax on bottled-water to fund river and lake protection. Claim Indiana lags far behind neighboring states in such protections. Star Press 1/8/04

Helsinki sells 1.4 million bottles of city tap water to Saudi Arabia. Russian deal also in the works. Hilsingin Sanomat 1/7/04

Maine's battle over nicotine-laced water heats up in the Legislature. Portland Press Herald 1/7/04

Its bottled water and juice for Canadian elementary school kids starting in September. High schoolers still can choose Coke or Pepsi. Reuters 1/6/04

Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality is criticized by environmentalists for siding with Nestle's Ice Mountain. State courts are deciding if water bottler is harming the environment. AP/Miami Herald 1/3/04


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