Vittel, a small, picturesque town in the Vosges region of Northeast France, is home to Vittel Natural Mineral Water. Established in 1854 and recognized since 1903 for its beneficial health properties, Vittel Water contains a perfect natural balance of essential minerals, such as calcium and magnesium that replenish both body and mind. Because of these healthful properties, the region is also home to Les Thermes de Vittel; a spa specializing in water-based health cures and beauty treatments designed to reduce fatigue, increase energy and beautify the skin via underwater massages, essential oil showers, algae facials and individual aqua-jet baths from the same source.

The Vittel mineral water basin is located in the Western Region of Vosges. Its continental climate is hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Rainfall is abundant roughly 900 mm (35 inches) a year on the average or a substantial amount each day. (Sounds like South Florida) Part of the rainwater slowly drains into the underground table, helping to keep it freshly supplied over the years.

The Vittel mineral water basin (left)
and Nestlé Waters’ plant in Vittel, France (right)

Brands in the News
It is becoming more prominent every day; water making the headlines. This time, a pleasant diversion from the usual arguments about plastic bottles, Michael Mascha from Fine Waters, made his case why water is NOT just water. He was given the opportunity to present a few brands to Kathy Lee and Hoda Kotb on NBC’s Today Show. The portfolio of waters used in the tasting included, Iskilde (Denmark), Tasmanian Rain (Tasmania), Vichy Catalan (Spain), St Geron (France) and Fiji (Fiji Islands). Also included for comparison were Coca Cola’s Dasani and NY tap water. (For the record, by the way, Aqua Maestro provided the water to NBC.)

The comparison and results are too lengthy to provide here, so follow the links below to see the individual waters or the video from the show.

Click here for further info about water pairing

Click here to watch The Today Show video with Kathy Lee and Michael Mascha

Nestlés angry over documentary film
A documentary film called “Flow” recently debuted at the Nantucket Film Festival. Nestlé representatives were furious after hearing the company’s name mentioned amidst criticism of bottled water products and privatization of water. Claims made by the film unduly picked on Nestlés as being environmentally irresponsible, according to a World Entertainment News Network article.

Bottled Water in the News
We reported last month how the bottled water debate continues to raise its head, and as mentioned in the Fountainhead July edition, the American Beverage Association (ABA) was striking back against the US Conference of Mayors that discourages the use of bottled water by city governments. Three noteworthy articles are described below, our hats are off to all individuals.

The Tampa Tribune
On July 5, 2008, The Tampa Tribune published an article in which Mayor Iorio made it clear that she has no plans to follow the ban-the-bottled water movement. Her reasoning: "The trend toward bottled water has been very healthy for our country," Iorio said. "It doesn't make sense to be down on bottled water. We should be encouraging people to drink more water."

U. S. News and World Report Interview
In a July 16, 2008, interview with an anti-bottled water online reporter/blogger with U.S. News & World Report, IBWA member Tom Mooney, senior vice president at Fiji Waters, set the record straight:
“People think that tap water and bottled water are the competitive set. This is not, in fact, how it plays out. People choose to buy a packaged beverage, and then they choose whatever they want. What is so frustrating about this debate is that when you look at it through that lens, bottle water represents the healthiest choice, and by far the least environmental impact… If your tap water tastes great and you like it, drink it. Bottled water is the better choice if you’re reaching into a (store) cooler.”

Des Moines Register Letter-to-the-Editor
Shortly after Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie indicated his support for the Conference of Mayors, Craig Schoenfield of the Iowa Beverage Association managed to get a letter-to-the-editor published after many others have tried. 

In the article, Schoenfield noted, “…our industry's containers are among the most recycled consumer-product packaging in the nation and are accepted in virtually all curbside and drop-off programs. Furthermore, bottled water containers are 100 percent recyclable and account for less than one-third of 1 percent of the nation's total municipal waste…” "…like tap water, bottled water is a healthy beverage option that provides consumers with access to clean, refreshing water that they can carry with them, which is a good thing. While tap water is a perfectly fine beverage choice, it is not always readily accessible when and where consumers need it.”

It is becoming apparent that more and more support in favor of bottled water is making its way in to the news.

For the anti bottle crowd…an additional plea
Deseret News, SALT LAKE CITY, UT
In a July 16 article, the local chapter of Volunteers of America (VOA) put out a mid-summer call for bottled water donations, which the group will distribute to the homeless to prevent dehydration and sunstroke.

NY expanded bottle bill doused
ALBANY, NY — New York state’s proposed Bigger Better Bottle Bill, (FH april 2008) which would have required a 5-cent refundable deposit on non-carbonated beverages such as bottled water, iced teas and sports drinks, failed to get traction in the Senate during the 2008 New York state legislative session, according to a June 27 Environmental Advocates of New York news release.

By the Numbers
We are revisiting some of these numbers to refresh your mind, but just in case you’re interested…
- US consumers drank 29.3 gallons of bottled water in 2007, an increase of nearly 2 gallons per person.
- US consumption equated to 8.62 billion gallons in 2007, as compared to 5.10 billion gallons in 2002 and a projected 11.0 billion gallons in 2012.
- The US consumes 16.32 % of the global world consumption of bottled water.
- Wholesale dollar sales exceeded $11.7 billion, a 7.8 % increase over 2006
- 161 new bottled water products have been rolled out so far in 2008
- 94 of those products have been categorized as “new products” as opposed to line extensions or new packages.
- 14 of those new waters are designed for kids ages 5 to 12
- Flavored waters are becoming popular, but the majority of new rollouts have been plain water.

Sources: Beverage Marketing Corp and Euromonitor International

Did You Know?
David Beckham is apparently planning to launch his own brand of mineral water. The soccer star, whose 10 year - $4 million dollar deal with soft drink company, Pepsi, expires later this year, according to The Daily Mirror. “… He has become a global brand himself and feels there may be more scope for him to promote his own product. He has an idea for creating a range of healthy products, including water….” The 33 year old LA Galaxy player has his own perfume brand with wife Victoria, and has fronted advertising campaigns for razors, hair gel and designer underwear.

On the tech side…
Which Households Drink Bottled Water?
Statistics Canada, Canada’s National Statistical Agency, recently completed a study on “which households drink bottled water?” Four characteristics were used to investigate bottled water drinking among Canadian households; income, education. age and dwelling.

Their findings included drinking bottled water in the home was more prevalent in households that had higher incomes. University-educated households were less likely to drink bottled water than households with a lower level of formal education. Households living in apartments and those that included seniors were less likely to drink bottled water, while households that included children were more likely to drink bottled water. Senior-only households had a particularly low rate of bottled water drinking.

We take issue with their finding relating to education, however, even their report asserts, “it is possible that university graduates are more aware of the environmental issues surrounding bottled water.” We may tend to agree the younger educated generation hoping to be politicaly correct may feel this way, but our own records show a higher degree of product sold to educated upper income levels.

You can draw your own conclusion by reading the report here.

Why The Bottled Water Industry Needs IBWA
We have mentioned the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) or referenced them in many articles in the Fountainhead. We would be remiss if we didn’t make you aware of this report written by Henry Robert Hidell of Hidell-EysterInternational, an independent bottled water consulting firm in Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. Hidell spells out exactly why the IBWA is so valuable to this industry.

To read this report click here

To order, please call or email Alexis Donney-Brillinger in the Private Client Division – 561 392 3336 x 100;

Wholesale inquiries should be directed to Shirley Costanza,

Water regulates the temperature of the human body. If you have caught a fever you should drink lots of water.

Americans use five times the amount of water that Europeans use.

To brush your teeth you use 7.5 litres (2 gallons) of water.

To process one can of fruit or vegetables we need 35 litres (9.3 gallons) of water.

An acre of corn will give off 15,000 litres (4,000 gallons) of water per day in evaporation.

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