October 15, 2007

Water you looking at?

It's easy to get riled at the thought of posh hangout Claridge's offering 30 brands of bottled water from around the world. There is something mildly uneasy in the thought of such a commodity being shipped from one continent to another when it's already freely available on tap.
The urge to be green seems to blind many people to reason as well as make them ready to accept unproven doctrine i.e. local produce = good / food miles = bad. But what if lugging huge volumes of a commodity thousands of miles is cheaper or more fuel efficient than transporting smaller volumes from nearby?
Bottled water is suffering an image problem because it symbolises purity and simplicity and yet the bottled brands struggle to prove points of difference with marketing as sophisticated as any other fmcg. That was fine before environmentalism became a new religion.
Using a brand is an act of self-expression. I can't believe that any sane person would notice any difference in taste between bottled water brands while they are munching a slap-up lunch or dinner. But if you want to pay £50 a litre, then that's fine. It's no different to wearing a fine pair of top of the range Nikes when cheap Reebok knock-offs will do the job just as well.
Personally, I'm sticking with the tap.

1 comment:

Charlie Bass said...

Damn right! Here in Finland they blind tested 'top-line' bottled waters against our standard tap water and the tap water came out top almost every time.