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Slowing of Bottled Water Market Marks Anniversary of Pepsi Announcement, A year later, competitor Coke still refuses to reveal..

Slowing of Bottled Water Market Marks Anniversary of Pepsi Announcement, A year later, competitor Coke still refuses to reveal Dasani's source as tap.
Published on Aug 1, 2008 - 7:21:13 AM
By: Corporate Accountability International
BOSTON, July 31, 2008 - One year ago, Corporate Accountability International and its allies pressured industry leader Pepsi to spell out the source of its water on its Aquafina brand labels -- the tap.Since that time, leading market competitors Coke and Nestle have refused to make a similar commitment despite growing concern about what people are getting in the bottle. Such concerns, when coupled with the struggling economy, are contributing to signs of a downturn in the growth of the bottled water market at large.In May, Nestle reported that its bottled water profits had dropped, acknowledging a ╦ťcriticism of bottled water' as a factor in decreased sales. According to Beverage Marketing Corporation, last year the U.S. bottled water industry experienced its slowest annual revenue growth in more than 15 years."In these difficult times, people are tired of being sold of bill of goods in a bottle," said Gigi Kellett, national director of Corporate Accountability International's Think Outside the Bottle campaign. "We believe these corporations shouldn't be putting a dollar value on this essential resource. So long as they are, the least they could do is let people know they are charging a thousand percent mark-up for water that comes directly from the tap."Up to 40 percent of bottled water comes from public water supplies. To profit from this packaging of a public good, bottlers pump water from municipal systems to resell to consumers at hundreds, even thousands of times of the price of what households pay per gallon for the essentially same water from the tap.This week, more than 1400 people have contacted Coke to ask that their Dasani brand follow Pepsi's lead. Corporate Accountability International is leading the call-in effort as part of its ongoing Think Outside the Bottle campaign, which has catalyzed dozens of cities, universities, religious organizations, restaurants and small businesses around a shared commitment to opt for tap over bottled water.The corporation and its trade association have worked to block stronger labeling and consumer-right-to-know laws in California and across the country.Coke also blocked a vote on a shareholders' resolution this year that would have similarly required the corporation to report on the health and quality of its bottled water brands in a manner comparable to the reporting of public water utilities."Coke is working very had to avoid addressing reasonable questions about product quality testing and disclosure, even while touting its supposedly rigorous safety and quality requirements," said Kellett. "People are wondering what exactly this corporation has to hide. It's in Coke's best interest to come clean about the misleading marketing the corporation employs to promote the Dasani brand."Nestle is also contributing to growing concerns about the lack of transparency in the bottled water industry. The corporation was recently forced to recall a batch of its Pure Life brand due to contamination from a cleaning compound. Pure Life is a processed tap water brand.Coke has yet to react to consumer requests for more information. Most callers are told, in essence, that 'Coke believes people have what they need to make informed choices about their purchase of bottled water.'Too bad what information people have is not by way of the corporation itself.Website: www.StopCorporateAbuse.org