For the past month or so, a certain consumer trend has found its way in newspapers and on news programs. For the first time ever, bottled water sales will surpass that of soda sales. At the center of this changing drinking behavior is safety. With significant news coverage on problems such as the lead contamination in Flint, people are opting for bottled water over tap water.
You can say that Sidney and I are part of the bottled water trend. We buy our fair share of water from the store (as well as soda), however, our reasoning isn’t because of contamination. To be fair to Myrtle Beach, the water that comes out of our tap tastes just fine. Rather, we consistently purchase bottled water simply for the convenience.
I remember 20 years ago when bottled water was just starting to catch on. There were a few major distributors selling it and for the most part it was not in bulk. You could buy a Dasani from a vending machine or purchase an Arrowhead bottle of water off the supermarket shelf for $1. Since then, in the past couple of decades, the bottled water industry has exploded. Bottled water is now sold in bulk and the the price is dirt cheap.
I can walk inside any store ranging from CVS to Walmart to Target and buy a 24-pack of bottled water for $2.99. For those doing the math, that is less than 13 cents per bottle. The downside of course is carrying the bulky 24-pack to your car and then inside your house but I think the value is worth it.
But wait one second, Brent. What value are you talking about? Water from the tap is free. Why do you mean when you say “value”? Yes, I understand your point. However, as I said above, it is all about convenience. To me, convenience = value.
When we bring our pack of bottled water home, we rip it open and make neat rows out of the bottles in our refrigerator. From that moment on, we pluck the bottles out of the refrigerator like it is the last water source in the world.
When we go to bed at night, we each take a bottled water to the bedroom. When I get home from work, I grab a bottled water. When I am sitting around watching television, I help myself to a bottled water. By the end of the week, our bathroom trash can is filled to the brim with empty plastic bottles.
There is no guilt drinking the water at this rate simply because it doesn’t hurt us in the checkbook. Likewise, when you don’t have bottled water, you have to grab a cup from the cupboard, fix some ice, and pour water from the faucet. When you have bottled water in the fridge, you don’t have to go through that process. I know I sound like the laziest person in the world but it is true. The abundance and cheapness of bottled water in stores everywhere has caused us to buy more of it and actually drink more of it as well.
One thing we are guilty of in the Reser Household is not paying as much attention to the environment as we should. Yes, I have heard that when it comes to our planet it is not the best practice to consume bottled water. To those who don’t agree with our bottled water habits, I apologize.
However, rest assured that at least today I won’t purchase another pack of bottled water. Why? Well, I bought one on Thursday and we still have a couple more days to go until we need a refill. Whether you consider bottled water a scam, a risk to the environment, or a lifesaver, this much is very true: it is a major industry that is doing very well. Don’t Blink.