Bottled water sales growth may be "drying up," but the bottled-water industry is veritably gushing on the PR front.
Here it is investing in a high-dollar sponsorship of the upcoming presidential campaigns, joining Anheuser-Busch, EDS (which specializes in "information technology outsourcing), BBH, a big U.K. advertising firm, and others.
And over here, you’ve got water giants Nestle Waters, Danone, and Highland Spring rolling out the Natural Hydration Council. Right, because the only way to stay “naturally hydrated” is to package water into tiny plastic bottles and haul it around the globe. The NHC will "research and promote the environmental, health and other sustainable benefits of natural bottled water." (Hat tip to Anna Lappé.)
You know, this reminds me a bit of the Alliance for Abundant Food and Energy — a confederation of Archer Daniels Midland Co., DuPont Co., John Deere, Monsanto, and the Renewable Fuels Association. They want to make sure we know that if we don’t a) grow lots of genetically modified crops, and b) convert a huge portion of them into fuel for our cars, then the human race will have to give up not only eating, but also, gulp, driving.
Maybe the Natural Hydration folks should consider joining forces with the Abundant Food and Energy set. You see, farmers go through lots of water. Why shouldn’t they be using bottled? Hey, bottled water industry — do the words market opportunity mean anything to you?
Maybe in the next farm bill, the two lobbying groups can push through a subsidy for bottled water as irrigation. Natural Irrigation Council, anyone?