water and you

I was born in the early sixties and when I was a kid growing up, long before the term "yuppy" was coined, I lived in a tourist area that catered to "rich folk" from New York City, NJ and Long Island as well as some tourists from Montreal. I now realize they weren't really rich, they were middle class and living beyond their means. Ha! And now everyone is doing it.

But back then, one of the ways I noticed who were the haves and who were the have-nots was that the people with money would carry water around. More specifically Perrier-- in those pretty green glass bottles. Like the ones over on the left. (The Perrier brand was introduced to the US from France in 1977)

The idea of paying money for water was just insane to me. And me and my friends figured being crazy was a side effect of being wealthy. I pretty much still think that, y'know? Only now everyone is paying money for water, not just the wealthy and social wannabes. Go figure.

This month's issue of Fast Company has a long article on bottled water and reading it has had me reminiscing about the days when people didn't waste their money on water from a store when perfectly good water is available from the tap in most of the US.

Like I mentioned above, the first bottled "premium" water available in this country was Perrier in 1977. Other brands were available on a regional basis like Poland Spring, Deer Park, and Saratoga Spring but these were typically sold in gallon jugs and not marketed aggressively like Perrier. Since that intro in 1977, bottled water has burgeoned into a 15 billion dollar business (2006) with no end in sight. And 24% of that is simply bottled municipal tap water sold by Pepsi and Coca-cola under the names Aquafina and Dasani. Amazing.

The biggest market share in the US is held by Nestle at 26%. Nestle bought up many of the local preexisting brands like the aforementioned Poland Springs to gain market share quickly--they also own premium brands like Perrier and San Pellegrino.

A buck for a bottle of water? I dunno. I think the water from my well tastes just fine--and it's free. By the way, that's my well over there on the left--it's not very fancy.


SassyAssy said…
Sadly, not all of us have nice tasting well water! I grew up with well water and it was great tasting. Now I either have to suffer with heavily chlorinated faux-water or get some bottled. My preference is Fiji water.
Nikki-ann said…
I always found it funny that bottled water has a sell by (or use by) date on it. I guess they put so much stuff in it these days, it's not just natural water.

And you're right... Pure well/spring water is nice (though I wouldn't recommend some of the tap water I've tasted!).
kenju said…
Dave, we have well water too and I can drink it straight out of the tap and be happy. But since our water is a little acidic, it is an acquired taste. I buy gallons of drinking water or spring water, to give to guests. I fell into the trap of buying bottled water; not for the taste - but for the convenience. I always have 2-3 in the car with me wherever I go. But I am beginning to feel guilty about using so much plastic that last week I bought some :"to go" bottles I can fill at home and take with me.

Thanks for the visit. Muffins are typically such high fat content that I don't know if I could tolerate them or not (at least when I have a virus). Anything with high fat is deadly for my stomach!
Michael Manning said…
My late father told me to drink bottled water because city water is just awful. Reading your post, I had images of Actor Jack Nicholson who hardly gets photographed without a bottle of Evian. And unlike Andy Rooney of "60 Minutes" I can tastes a difference. I once hung out with Kris Krisofferson's band and on their tour bus Kris had a large ice chest filled with Perrier as he is a recovering alocoholic. So, he decided "everyone on this bus will drink water". I like Perrier too. It just has carbonation, if I'm not mistaken.
utenzi said…
True, Perrier is naturally carbonated. San Pellegrino is also carbonated but they have to artificially carbonate the water using "natural" sourced carbonation. Evian came to the US from France in 1984 and definitely went show-biz quick. They made a media splash with images of top athletes drinking Evian in commercials. It worked.
Deana said…
I remember the first bottle of Perrier I had, 20 years ago I guess, and I thought I was so "it". It just wasn't done in this small town. I still like Perrier and keep some in the fridge. I am giving up on bottled water. The more I read the more I think we were better off without it. If not for the fact of plastic building up on our earth alone. We have a filter in the fridge, I just need to force myself to put some in the container for the gym and stop depending on Aquafina,etc.
Pearl said…
Nestle's moving in on water market. I didn't know that.

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