BOTTLED WATER: MORE THAN JUST A STORY ABOUT SALES GROWTH

March 31, 2008

Stringent Federal, State and Industry Standards Help Ensure Safety, Quality and Good Taste

ALEXANDRIA, VA — The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), in conjunction with Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) today released 2007 bottled water statistics, compiled by BMC, a research, consulting, and financial services firm dedicated to the global beverage industry (www.beveragemarketing.com). These numbers show that U.S. bottled water sales and consumption continue to rise, as consumers increasingly choose bottled water over other beverages.

In 2007, total bottled water volume was 8.8 billion gallons, a 6.9 percent increase over 2006, and the 2007 bottled water per capita consumption of 29.3 gallons increased nearly two gallons, from 27.6 gallons per capita the previous year. Additionally, the wholesale dollar sales for bottled water exceeded $11.7 billion in 2007, a 7.8 percent increase over the $10.8 billion in 2006. These statistics demonstrate continued consumer demand and appreciation for the convenience, healthfulness, and good taste of bottled water brands consumed on-the-go, during exercise, at restaurants or meetings, and at home or the office. However, consumers should also know that bottled water safety and quality result from multiple layers of regulation and standards at the federal, state and industry levels.

Bottled water is a packaged food product that is comprehensively regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is subject to stringent standards for safety, quality, production, labeling, and identity. Along with the FDA's Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), which are required of all foods, bottled water must comply with several other applicable regulations, including a Standard of Identity, Standards of Quality and additional, specific bottled water GMPs. Being a packaged food product, bottled water is also bound by the full range of FDA protective measures designed to enforce product safety and protect consumers. States can also regulate bottled water inspections, sampling, analyzing and approving bottled water sources, and testing laboratory certification. As part of the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, IBWA members voluntarily utilize the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) for a science-based approach to bottled water production and safety. FDA recognizes HACCP as a key component of food safety and consumer protection.

John G. Rodwan, Jr., editorial director at Beverage Marketing Corporation, said of bottled water, “U.S. residents’ unabated thirst for bottled water can be attributed to several factors. Many consumers recognize it to be healthy, safe, and convenient. It’s a versatile product, suitable for consumption at any time of day and need not be kept cold (like soft drinks or juice) or warm (like coffee or tea). As far as ready-to-drink commercial beverages go, it’s relatively inexpensive, and, with competitive pricing, it is increasingly affordable for consumers.”

“While all beverages have their role in a marketplace with an abundance of drink choices,” says Joe Doss, IBWA President and CEO, “consumers are choosing bottled water as a refreshing, healthy, hydrating beverage and as an alternative to others because it does not contain calories, caffeine, sugar, artificial colors, alcohol or other ingredients.”

BMC continues to foresee bottled water surpassing carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) to become the largest beverage category by volume within the next five to seven years. Rodwan of BMC said, “As concern about obesity spreads and intensifies, bottled water’s lack of calories appears that much more attractive to consumers.”

“Consumers must also be made aware of the bottled water industry’s outstanding record of environmental stewardship, protection, and sustainability,” IBWA’s Doss concluded. “Bottled water containers are 100 percent recyclable and the industry works on a number of fronts with recycling advocates, communities, and our beverage and food partners to increase recycling. Bottled water is also at the forefront utilizing measures to reduce our environmental footprint and protect natural resources.”

For an overview of bottled water regulations and standards, environmental facts, and other bottled water information, visit the IBWA web site at www.bottledwater.org.