Why does bottled water cost so much?


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  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    Years ago, I had a marketing professor who did a class mental exercise on "how to market water." The students thought it was a joke, but it was a widely used assignment used in colleges all over America to get students to think about something as plentiful as water that literally fell from the sky and came out of a tap -- and how to use our marketing knowledge to "sell" what was literally easy and free (okay, cheap) to get. It was a fun exercise, and I recall students coming up with all sorts of creative ways to make water appear exclusive and exciting...

    I wonder if we're seeing the results of how that mental exercise, experienced by thousands of marketing students in colleges all over America, has created today's bottled water industry, as many of the strategies used today were the very ones students came up with as a mental exercise.

    For me, the most tragic example is Fiji Water -- considered a "luxury" bottled water for Americans, few realize that the water comes from an impoverished country, Fiji, where water wars and exports of the island's water is actually hurting many of its poor residents.