According to legend, as far back as 218 BC, Hannibal and his army, after crossing Spain on their way to conquer Rome, set up camp on the site of what would later become known as Les Bouillens, a naturally carbonated spring. Soldiers found it remarkably refreshing. The Romans were the first to build a stone basin at the site of the spring, along with a few buildings. These installations were a precursor to the spa that would be built much later on.

Commercial operation really took hold only in 1863, when Napoleon III signed a decree acknowledging that the spring water was a natural mineral water. Six years later, in 1869, fire razed the Vergèze installations. Despite attempts to restore the site, the company experienced heavy losses, and eventually went bankrupt. Louis Rouvière, a Vergèze landowner and businessman, bought the Bouillens estate in 1888, and in 1894, leased the spring, with an option to purchase, to a doctor from Nîmes. In 1898, Dr. Louis Perrier took over ownership of the Bouillens estate.

In 1903, Sir St.-John Harmsworth, a member of the English aristocracy, invested in the property and renamed the spring from Les Bouillens to Source Perrier, named after the dedicated physician who brought it to his attention. St John Harmsworth was instrumental in developing the Perrier Spring Company, giving it a strong identity and image, and became responsible for the distinctively shaped bottle.

Perrier's famous green bottle became popular throughout Europe and was the first sparkling natural mineral water in the U.S. Perrier became an intrinsic part of an active, healthy American lifestyle in the late 1970s.

Nestlé took over Perrier in 1992, forming what would eventually be known as Nestlé Waters SA, which leads the world bottled water market today with 73 brands, including such names as Perrier, Vittel, Valvert, San Pellegrino, Acqua Panna and Contrex.

Water In The News…

The Water Bottle Debate
When sales of bottled water fell in 2008 and 2009, some blamed the economy while others said public opinion had turned against bottled water. Sales are now picking up again, but in some circles, the debate continues. Evidence (sales) shows bottled water is making a comeback. Opponents were saying it is expensive and bad for the environment, while proponents describe it as a convenient and healthful beverage choice. According to Tom Luria, spokesman for the International Bottled Water Association, "sometimes it's a moment-by-moment choice, where you are in front of the 7-Eleven cooler and you grab a bottle of water because that's all you really want instead of a carbonated beverage," he continued, "that should be applauded by everyone, just because of obesity and heart disease and other problems that come with excessive calories." The debate lingers, but sales are returning.

U.S. Bottled Water Consumption Increased 3.5 % In 2010
To bolster the debate above, The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), in conjunction with Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) has released 2010 bottled water statistics, compiled by BMC, a research, consulting, and financial services firm dedicated to the global beverage industry. The new BMC data, released in May 2011, shows the overall consumption of bottled water has increased, by 3.5%, after slight losses in 2008 and 2009 due to poor economic conditions.  It also shows the bottled water category's overall share of the liquid refreshment beverages marketplace grew slightly to 30%, up from approximately 29.2% in 2009.

Concord, Mass., Narrowly Defeats Water Bottle Ban
Common sense has prevailed, for awhile, anyway. That was the sentiment of Joe Doss, president and CEO of the International Bottled Water Association referring to a narrow victory to vote down a bill to ban bottled water in Concord. Specifically, the law would have prohibited stores from selling water in PET bottles that were 1Liter or smaller. For more...

UK Bottled Water Sales Also Edged Up
On the heels of a report mentioned in last month's Fountainhead by Beverage Marketing Corp. , discussing bottled water growth in the US, a new report by Zenith International shows bottled water sales for 2010 grew 0.7 per cent overall to 2,055 million litres in the UK also. Retail sizes under 10 litres, which accounted for 83% of the total, achieved 2.4% growth.

Zenith predicts that total bottled water sales will rise by 14 per cent between now and 2015.

Brands In The News…

Not Really From Volcanoes
However, Danone has begun rolling out their Volvic 'Volcanicity' campaign. Beginning in the UK, it's a campaign for Volvic mineral water and Volvic Touch of Fruit brands. Click here to watch video

Nestle Hikes Bottled Water Prices, Reversing 10-year Trend
Nestle Waters North America Inc. raised prices on its bottled water nearly 10 percent last month, the first increase after almost a decade of prices falling. Nestle Waters initiated the price increases due to the cost of plastic used to make bottles rising more than 40 percent since October. Bottled water prices have fallen about 35 percent in the last decade due to increasing competition.

Nestles Waters Launches The Hydration Movement
Nestlé Pure Life has launched a hydration movement to educate families on reducing empty calorie intake from beverages.

With the average American consuming 400 calories a day from beverages, and the release of the 2011 US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines urging Americans to drink more water and less sugared beverages, it's clear that consumers need to sip smarter. If you are interested in more info or would like to join the movement, check it out here;

Icelandic Glacial, Pledges 23 Tons Of Water
Icelandic Water Holdings, makers of Icelandic Glacial, had pledged to donate 23 tons of water to aid in the tornado relief efforts in the Central and Southern United States. Thank goodness for bottled water! Icelandic Glacial will be providing water for victims and disaster relief volunteers of the St. Louis, Alabama and Georgia tornadoes that struck in recent weeks.

Anheuser-Busch Sends Cans Of Water To Assist Texas
There's a critical need for drinking water in areas of West Central Texas affected by wildfires, and Anheuser-Busch has contributed to the relief effort. The brewer provided 4,312 cases, or more than 103,000 cans, of drinking water.

Believe It or Not

Would you pay $2600 for this water? Well, it's not really the water that makes up that price, but the bottle itself. Bling has just introduced the first entry of the new Dubai Collection…"The Ten Thousand" This bottle has over 10,000 hand applied Swarovski Crystals. Previously only available at Harvey Nichols Department Store in Dubai UAE. "The Ten Thousand" has recently been seen in the fall BeBe Catalog under "what's hot..."and is listed as the most expensive bottled water in the world by Forbes. CNN, is quoted describing Bling H2O as, "Sipping Pure Prestige". "The Ten Thousand" bottles are all custom made to order, numbered and come with white handling gloves and case. You can even have a custom bottle done in your choice of colors and designs, although, you may be pushing the price up some!

In The Learning Corner...

New Study Reveals 24-hour Water Fast Is Good For Your Heart
US research cardiologists at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute found that fasting can lower your risks of developing coronary artery disease and diabetes, but also can improve your blood cholesterol levels. Both diabetes and elevated cholesterol are known risk factors for coronary heart disease. The study also reveals that fasting for 24 hours can bolster a metabolic protein called human growth hormone that protects lean muscles.

In the new research, fasting was also found to reduce other cardiac risk factors, such as triglycerides, weight, and blood sugar levels. "Fasting causes hunger or stress. In response, the body releases more cholesterol, allowing it to utilize fat as a source of fuel, instead of glucose. This decreases the number of fat cells in the body," says Dr. Benjamin D. Horne, PhD, MPH, director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, and the study's principal investigator. "This is important because the fewer fat cells a body has, the less likely it will experience insulin resistance, or diabetes."

While some experts agreed that a one-day water fast won't do too much harm, they urge caution when trying a more extended detox plan. For more information;

Bottled water has been around since at least prior to the 1800s. Some sources say that spa water in Belgium was bottled for export in 1583. Other sources credit Jackson's Spa in Boston for being the first to offer bottled water for sale in 1767.

Distilled water is not recommended for drinking. Distilled water is really intended to be used in processes where mineral build up can cause problems, such as in running machinery or for cleaning.

Spring water is water that has risen from aquifers beneath the surface and absorbed minerals along the way. Mineral water also has absorbed minerals, but it must have a specific percentage of them - 250 parts per million total dissolved solids, according to the U.S. Federal Drug Administration.

Only about one percent of the earth's water is suitable for drinking water.

Bottled water can be safely stored indefinitely if kept sealed and out of direct sunlight.