From The Founder
Dear Valued Clients &
Friends of Aqua Maestro:
Labor Day Weekend - the last hurrah of Summer 2007. Every summer is special, especially for every kid. It is that glorious time of unrestricted play beneath the blue umbrella skies. As those days dwindle down to a precious few, children know school is right around the corner, and mothers know relief is at hand. The family gears shift to prepare - anyway, that’s how I remember it.
I also remember drinking water from our garden hose and cupping my hands under the outdoor spigot during the muggy northeast summers. Little did I realize someday they’d put our tap water in a bottle, come up with a romantic name, and sell it for money. I don’t think I would have believed it. The only water we paid for, as far as I knew, was some odd fizzy stuff that made my nose feel funny.
The “odd fizzy stuff” in an exotic green bottle with blue label was imported; it was not liquor or beer, was reserved for holidays and important get-togethers, and all that combined created a mystique. Like most other exotic stuff at Thanksgiving and holidays, I was under the impression the bottled water was from Italy. In retrospect, I know my first experience with bottled water was San Pellegrino. Back then, San Pellegrino was a private company; now Nestlé owns it.
Our early memories whether they’re of the summer play days or fizzy water in the cupboard stay locked in. Somehow, nice memories improve with time. As time passed, the Nestlé stable of great brands also improved. San Pellegrino and its sister water, Panna, were joined by other classic names, including Perrier. Another luxury brand from France acquired by Nestlé is the legendary Contrex, Aqua Maestro’s featured water for September.
Aqua Maestro selected Contrex as both the FEATURED WATER for September, 2007, and has designated it as the PET Plastic Water-of-the-Month. This is a “first” at the company, a one-two marketing punch whereby the headline item is also the bargain-du-jour. The reason for this one of the stories in PIPELINE is a special new relationship between Contrex and Aqua Maestro.
In the spirit of European Union, Contrex, in plastic, is joined by Germany’s Gerolsteiner in glass, as the tandem Waters-of-the-Month. They are a terrific couple - both high quality, legendary, mineral waters. The virtues of Contrex are extolled in the FEATURED WATER section; Gerolsteiner is regarded as curative elixir, a naturally carbonated, low pH delicacy sporting the highest mineral content in Aqua Maestro’s inventory. Aqua Maestro acquired the exclusive distribution rights to the fancy glass packaging of Gerolsteiner in 2006.
If you’ve been on vacation the last couple of FOUNTAINHEAD editions, we devised a short Questionnaire. The objective is to solicit and incorporate your valuable input. This following secure link takes you there. Your time and feedback is important, and much appreciated.
The other factoid for those who were on holiday is that the Aqua Maestro mascot penguin now has a proper name. We ran a Name-The-Penguin contest. The winning name, “Perry,” came from Mr. Ron Thaden, a home delivery client. “Perry” will be running some sales specials beginning later this Fall.
August carried forward the steady uptrend in business. Wholesale accounts generated revenue consistent with July’s results which represents a big increase over the wholesale volume in August, 2006, and is a good showing seasonally for the typically slow month of August. Home delivery revenue increased from last month, hovering just below our all-time monthly high mark. If the seasonal trends from the past four years hold true to form, Aqua Maestro’s private client business is poised for a tremendous Fall season.
Final announcements on new products are not quite ready for prime time. Europe pretty much closes its doors for business in August, so the company will be looking to dot “i’s” and cross “t’s” as our overseas colleagues get back into full swing. We’ll keep you posted in FOUNTAINHEAD; but keep an eye on IN THE NEWS at the bottom of our web site’s home page www.aquamaestro.com - for press releases.
As always, please feel free to email me at email@example.com.
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Contrex natural mineral water comes from Contrexéville in the Vosges region, about six hundred miles northeast of Paris, the largest natural forest in France. The source’s protection is entrusted to an environmental group called Agrivair, which administers the stewardship of 22,000 acres around the springs’ perimeter. The French are serious about their water, and Contrex, one of the best, has a domestic annual consumption of 132 million gallons.
The first spa at Contrexéville was built under Louis XV in 1774. XV ascended the French throne in 1715 after a certain misfortune eradicated his father, XIV, and the entire royal family. Victor Hugo wrote a nice book about all that. Popular in the earlier years of his reign, XV also was hated by the end but he is reputed to have been a man of uncommon intelligence. The spa project at Contrexéville, undertaken by doctors under his direction, would seem to support historian’s attribution of intellect and wisdom. It is a historical fact XV consumed the water; fifty-nine years as a king is a tough assignment, one that surely required the ingestion of at least as much mineral water as wine.
The records show that 1861 was the year when the official secular French government conferred its blessing on the high Calcium mineral water; bottling of the delicacy began in 1908. Standing on the same site where it all began in the Eighteenth Century, today’s business operation covers over a million square feet on sixty-two acres, employing 900 people. Total production is a robust 900 million liters per year.
The geological story of the region covers eons. Present day Vosges is on the eastern border of the Paris Basin, a formation of sediment that goes all the way back through both the Cenozoic Age, which is the most recent 65 million years, to the dawn of the Mesozoic Era some 250 million years ago. The Contrex aquifer is a deep, spiny lattice winding through evaporitic deposits, dolomites, and calcareous rock from the Triassic Age, the earliest portion of the Mesozoic Era. “Dolomite” is Calcium Magnesium Carbonate, and “Calcareous Rock” is Calcium Carbonate. Which all goes to explain the unusual natural Calcium level in Contrex, and its nickname: “The King of Calcium.”
As the Aqua Maestro product page puts it so well: “Contrex is a sophisticated, acquired taste.” The 486 milligrams per liter Calcium dominates the taste of this neutral 7.3 pH mineral water. But the recipe is more complex than that, offering rich rewards for the cultivated palate. With a total mineral content of 2,032 parts per million, Contrex is indeed a heavyweight. Magnesium, as you would expect given the geology, shows up strong at 66 mg/liter. The natural Sulphate and Bicarbonate levels are an extraordinary 1,058 and 386 mg/liter respectively. The water contains almost no salt, and Nitrates are virtually nil at 1 mg/liter. If you ask someone who drinks Contrex what it tastes like, chances are they’ll give you a bottle and let you discover it yourself.
It would be nice to hop a plane and indulge Contrex at the spa. But for those of us on a tighter time or economic budget, the next best thing is having it in your home refrigerator. Apart from its curative reputation and specific use in connection with osteoporosis, Contrex is a true culinary item. Treat yourself and enjoy a taste of France at its best.
To order, please call or email Alexis Donney-Brillinger in the Private Client Division 561 392 3336 x 100; firstname.lastname@example.org. Wholesale inquiries should be directed to Shirley Costanza, email@example.com.
The environmental debate has seemingly touched every industry, including bottled water. Some recent headlines were grabbed by famed San Francisco eatery, Chez Panisse, who spearheaded a bonanza in public relations for themselves by banning bottled water from their swank restaurant. As others climbed on the PET Plastic and "food miles" bandwagon, responders and new voices jumped in both to defend and to offer their own vital theories.
For its part, the IBWA (International Bottled Water Association), issued a statement by Chairman Charlie McCoy: "The bottled water industry can proudly consider itself as one of the original recyclers, as we collect, properly clean, sanitize, and re-use …bottles. When their life cycle is complete, those same bottles are collected and recycled to become part of many consumer products…"
One particularly intriguing new voice was Ingrid Newkirk, a spokesperson for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). She claims the environment's main enemy is a far cry from plastic containers of soft drink. On television last week ostensibly for additional condemnation of Michael Vick, Ms. Kirk took the opportunity to veer into quite another direction.
She decried: "The number one cause of global warming is the factory farming of animals." She went on to say, "A report from the United Nations that follows up on a report from the University of Chicago…points a finger at our plates. When we look at greenhouse gases carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen we need to look at factory farming…that's the number one cause of environmental warming, factory farming of animals."
Chez Panisse may have to be careful what they put on their menu if they want to stay politically correct.
No water unless it comes from your tap, no meat unless it was the victim of natural causes: next might be a protest movement against athletes because they frivolously rob oxygen from the atmosphere replacing it with unnecessary CO2.
The annual IBWA awards committee for 2007 attracted 169 entries from 32 countries. Judging took place at Sheraton Hotel in London on August 6. The winners will receive their trophies during the 4th Global Bottled Water Congress in Mexico City on September 13.
A brief list of the best-in-show items are:
Best bottle in PET
1 litre water company (1 litre) - Canada
Aquann Water Project (Red Cross Water) -Norway
Sheelpe Enterprises (Aava) - India
Ringnes (Imsdal) - Norway
Brasserie de Tahiti (O'Tahiti) - Tahiti
Demo Design & Moulds (Sikko) - Italy
Best bottle in glass
Bavaria NV (Waater) - Netherlands
CCHBC - Greece (Avra Still) - Greece
Veen Waters Finland (Veen Water) - Finland
Eaux de Source de Saint Géron (Saint Géron) - France
Source Glacier Beverage Company (10 Thousand BC) - Canada
Best marketing campaign
Coca-Cola GmbH (Apollinaris) - Germany
Danone (Volvic Revive) - UK
Strathmore - UK
Glacéau (Try it) - USA
Coca-Cola Czech & Slovakia (Bonaqua) - Czech Republic & Slovakia
Highland Spring - Visit Scotland - top 10 Scottish experiences campaign - UK
Masafi - UAE
Aqua Maestro Inc. & Contrex sign Internet Deal
Following suit with the exclusive deal between Voss Waters USA and Aqua Maestro, Contrex, a brand owned by Nestlé Waters, has agreed to a deal with Boca Raton-based Aqua Maestro, whereby Aqua Maestro will become their exclusive official Internet sales outlet (See FEATURED WATER in this edition of FOUNTAINHEAD.)
To facilitate browser traffic, a link will soon appear on the Contrex site. www.contrex-usa.com It will click directly through to the Contrex Product Page on Aqua Maestro’s award-winning web site dedicated to online merchandising of the world’s best natural waters.
According to Brett Spitalny, COO at Global Beverage Solutions, Aqua Maestro’s parent company: “We’re thrilled to have forged this new alliance with Contrex and Nestlé Waters. We believe Aqua Maestro can do a great job for them, and this sort of synergy is exactly the kind of thing we have prioritized for Aqua Maestro.”
Show me the Money
Beverage World magazine recently published its list of the Top 50 Beverage Marketers and Distributors in North America. Amazingly, 18 of the fifty were not in the beer, wine, or liquor business. Amazing, because the tabulations were based on dollars, not volume of product handled.
Coca Cola, through its parent and related entities, occupied four of the fifty slots including #1 for The Coca-Cola Company and #2 for Coca-Cola Enterprises. Rival Pepsi, and its related entities, held three spots with the parent, PepsiCo, Inc. ranked #4. (Anheuser-Busch Inc was #3.)
The top bottled water-only company was Nestlé Waters North America at #17. The other bottled water-only company that cracks the Top 50 is DS Waters of America, #41, with regional brands Alhambra, Crystal Springs, Hinckley Springs, Kentwood Springs, Sierra Springs, and Sparkletts.
Omnipresent Red Bull, a force in North America for a relatively short time compared to others on the list, ranked #35, with revenues of #1.2 Billion. To put that into perspective, the four combined Coca-Cola companies had combined revenue of $46 Billion. The revenue for Nestlé Waters North America was nearly $4 Billion, and DS Waters of America posted $755 Million.