If recent consumer spending is any indication, the best bottled water is … cheap bottled water.
Per an Atlanta Journal-Constitution story, bottled water brands owned by Pepsi and Coca Cola declined sharply in 2009. And,
Meanwhile, the big winner is private label bottled water, up 12 percent. Those waters are cheaper than the offerings from Coca-Cola and Pepsi, and appeal to America’s new sense of frugality.
The appeal of affordability won’t soon go away. Sales of private label water will rise another 10 percent this year, according to Beverage Marketing Corp.
While blind taste tests have showed that generic store branded foods taste as good as national brands, a common complaint about generics is that they’re bland, that they lack flavor.
Well, how does that translate to water? Water is supposed to be bland. It’s supposed to lack flavor. No wonder there’s little loyalty among bottled water brands. Also no wonder that overall sales of bottled water fell during the recession — because the product is competing with something that most Americans can get for free: tap water.