Nestlé: Water versus soda

November 19, 2008

The largest global bottled water industry is having a hard time battling the image of bottled water being environmentally wasteful. As the green wave continues to roll against every industry in an attempt to curb excess waste and non-recyclable materials, bottled water, along with other bottled drinks are challenged to prove that their products are environmentally conscious. To break away from a negative brand image, Nestlé is shifting consumers’ attention to water’s health benefits compared to sugar-laden sodas.

Unlike their competitors, Nestlé does not have any soda product lines, allowing them this marketing technique. Going so far as to print anti-soda messages on their packaging of Poland Spring water, Nestlé is really making an effort to make consumers link water to healthiness.

Will this be an effective tactic in altering their brand image? Advertising campaigns in the U.S. will roll out early 2009. Nestlé’s efforts will undoubtedly increase familiarity of their bottled water brands, but there is no guarantee that the tactic will tap in to people’s health concerns or increase sales. It seems like it will be preaching to the choir of the already health conscious.

Amusing little quirks on their packaging; similar to other beverage companies that print short quotes or facts under bottle caps, will undoubtedly be interesting to read. Or, consumers might not even notice the addition to the packaging, which can be concealed on the individual bottles when packaged in groups of twelve. The key is to watch if it has any long-term impact on sales vs. soda.

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