Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy

Latest Episodes

Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace

The nest is full

Oct 11, 2019
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
This Is Uncomfortable

Our unquenchable thirst for bottled water

Sean McHenry Jul 21, 2017
Share Now on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY
There’s a question about whether Americans are getting a more healthful liquid from bottles than taps.
Matt Cardy/Getty Images

It’s summer, it’s hot and we’re thirsty for water.

We have choices: There’s the water that’s provided for us by our local governments — tap water — and there’s the bottled water we pay for. And we pay a lot.

The American bottled water industry made nearly $16 billion in revenue last year, according to the International Bottled Water Association. Bottled water also replaced carbonated soft drinks as the largest beverage group in the country following decades of growth.

But there’s a question about whether Americans are getting a more healthful liquid from bottles than taps.

“So if you are supposed to filter your own tap water, you could get a similar quality of what some bottled waters are selling,” said Nneka Leiba, director of Healthy Living Science at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a research and advocacy organization.

In 2008, EWG researchers found that half of bottled water brands had the same chemical tracings found in filtered tap water. In other words, it’s basically the same stuff. And for Leiba, that means the same health concerns.

“There is so much difference between the quality of municipal water across the country. But there could be a similar difference in the quality of water from bottle to bottle.”

It’s pretty easy to research the quality of your local tap water (you should receive a yearly report from your water supplier) but it’s much harder to figure out where an individual bottle of water came from.

The tap water system isn’t perfect, but on the whole, what comes out of U.S. taps is good, Leiba said.

So if the selling point isn’t the water quality, then what is it?

Tom Pirko, the CEO of Bevmark, a food and beverage consulting company, has thought a lot about how you sell something that you can already get for free.

To hear Pirko’s take on the marketing of bottled water, click the audio player above.

 

If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air.  But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.

Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.

When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.

Check Your Balance ™️
Check Your Balance ™️
Personal finance from Marketplace. Where the economy, your personal life and money meet.

Thank you to all the donors who made our fall drive a success!

It’s Investors like you that keep Marketplace going strong!