Bottled water used to be a hip product that baby boomers sipped because it was a status symbol. Not any more, according to this report from National Public Radio (and this one from the Canwest News Service), which tell us that bottled water is no longer cool. Nancy Eve Cohen reports for NPR's Morning Edition that "after years of double-digit increases, bottled water sales have stopped rising. Industry analysts say the economy is driving the change, but they also say environmentalists may be having an effect." Except maybe not. The report notes that Americans spent more than $11 billion on bottled water last year, and it quotes Kim Jeffrey of Nestle Waters North America saying that environmental concerns are not having much of an impact on sales. "The problems we're seeing right now are very much attributable to the economic downturn, not to the fact that people are leaving bottled water in droves -- because it's just not happening," Jeffery said. Likewise, the Canwest report reminds us that although Canadian bottled water sales topped $730 million in 2007, "yet, suddenly a bottle of water is about as au courant as Michael Jackson's Thriller -- still the world's best-selling album, but you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who will admit to ever owning it." Reminds me of the Yogi Berra quote: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." As soon as they started selling bottled water by the case at Wal-Mart, no one wants to admit drinking it. I've never been a bottled water fan -- I'm too cheap. Does that mean that now I'm cool? Somehow, I doubt it.
Bottled water: no longer cool?
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