A couple of years ago Coca-Cola released it's new bottled water, Dasani, to much fanfare and celebration. Along with this came the usual marketing hype about how healthy it was for you and how it was the best and purest in the world and blah blah blah, only for it to turn out they were bottling it out of the tap in Sidcup, only miles away from "Peckham Springs", made famous by Del Boy in "Only Fools and Horses" in which he pulled off the same stunt.
Well, now there's a new kid on the block, the New York block that is, and they're selling tap water, and being honest about it's source too.
Tap'dNY is bottling and selling tap water sourced in New York City. Not out of a spring or from a glacier, but from the tap. The water goes through some reverse osmosis to make it a little different from the stuff that comes straight out the tap, but that's it. It's then bunged into funky looking bottles and peddled to the people of NYC.
Their big marketing spiel? They're going the green route by being up front about the source and the fact it's not come from Fiji or France (they actually go on about Fiji an France quite a bit). To quote their front page:
Tap'dNY is a New York City bottled water company with a local twist and knack for honesty. We don't travel the world from Fiji to France seeking water or offer the usual bottled water gimmicks. We work with NYC’s public water system to source the world's best tasting tap water, purify it through reverse osmosis and bottle it locally, leaving out ludicrous transportation miles.
We offer an honest and local alternative to thirsty New Yorkers, giving them a smarter choice: to drink their own (award winning) water.
They also heavily encourage free refills (from any tap you can get your hands on in NYC) and recycling. What a great idea: "lets encourage drinking tap water, and recycling and make a couple of pennies out of it".
Except that's where the honesty stops. They're going to make tons of cash from this by blatantly ripping off NYC citizens by selling them something they're already paying for. You can buy a crate of 24 20floz (591ml) bottles of this water for $36. That's $1.50 a bottle, or $2.54 a litre. The NYC water board charge less than that for 100 cubit feet (748 US Gals / 12.2 litres) at $2.31. Now I know the reverse osmosis and the plastic bottles cost money, but surely not that much, and is the reverse osmosis really needed when they're encouraging you to refill direct from the tap anyway?
Someone is going to make a lot of money out of this, and if we look at it from a capitalist's point of view: it's a great idea. From the consumer's point of view: what a rip off. You take your pick. I just wish I'd had the time, money and nouse to think this one up first.