Nestle Bottled Water CEO Openly Attacks Quality of Public Water Supplies

Nestle has long maintained it doesn’t denigrate the quality of public water supplies, and though there were plenty of signs that wasn’t the case, the pretense existed.

Now – with Nestle facing zero growth in the bottled water market, the worst economy in decades, and a growing base of anti-bottle activists – their new strategy has become clear: Attack tap water’s quality and purity.

From a recent Advertising Age interview with Nestle CEO Kim Jeffries:

Ad Age: Why shouldn’t everyone just drink tap water if they want a healthful beverage option?

Mr. Jeffery: There’s no one in America that can tell me that what you get out of your tap is the same as what we’re able to deliver in a closed system. [We’re] guaranteeing that product, when you open it up, is high quality. You can’t make that guarantee for tap water that’s coming through an infrastructure that’s as much as 100 years old.

… We represent the only alternative when tap water goes down in America, and it goes down a lot.

Uhh, tap water “goes down a lot?”

Really? It does?

I credit Mr. Jeffries for offering me the perfect kick-off post in what will become a series on Nestle’s new push to reclaim its lucrative bottled water markets.

The world’s largest food & beverage multinational is not about to cede a profitable market to a bunch of stainless-steel-bottle-waving activists, and I predicted long ago that when they finally did rear up on their hind legs, the results wouldn’t be pretty.

So far, they haven’t been. And we’re just getting started.

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4 thoughts on “Nestle Bottled Water CEO Openly Attacks Quality of Public Water Supplies

  1. I sometimes feel like we need to tag a few pennies to everyone’s water bill to fund a marketing engine for the “other side”: tap water…

    BTW TC, I appreciated your work here. Adding a link to your blog on the Nestle Company Profile page at Coop America would be useful in spreading your word.

    Eddie
    * Wholesum Organic Clothing *

  2. Eddie: It’s amusing that in the same interview I referenced in the post, CEO Kim Jeffries complained that the company had no money to get its message out, as if the ragtag group of Nestle’s opponents were being funded by a stream of winning lottery tickets.

    Can’t figure a way to add a link to my blog, but thanks for the pointer.

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