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INTRODUCTION: BOTTLED DRINKING WATER "Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink" from the Rhyme of the

Ancient Mariner is perhaps a fitting description of the attitude of many consumers living in urban areas today who are increasingly looking toward bottled water as a means of meeting some or all of their daily requirements. As fresh water supplies are further stretched to meet the demands of industry, agriculture and an ever-expanding population, the shortage of safe and accessible drinking water will become a major challenge in many parts of the world. In the wake of several major outbreaks involving food and water, there is a growing concern for the safety and quality of drinking water. While bottled water is widely available in both industrialized and developing countries, it may represent a significant cost to the consumer. Consumers may have various reasons for purchasing bottled drinking-water, such as taste, convenience or fashion, but for many consumers, safety and potential health benefits are important considerations. Since such considerations are often not founded on facts, these will be specifically addressed here.

THE SAFETY OF BOTTLED DRINKING-WATER While the term bottled water is widely used, the term packaged water is perhaps more accurate. Water sold in countries for consumption can come in cans, laminated boxes and even plastic bags. However, bottled water is most commonly sold in glass or disposable plastic bottles. Bottled water also comes in various sizes from single servings to large carbouys holding up to 80 litres. Depending on the climate, physical activity and culture, the drinking-water needs for individuals vary, but for high consumers it is estimated to be about two liters per day for a 60 kg person and one liter per day for a 10 kg child. Drinking-water may be contaminated by a range of chemical, microbial and physical hazards that could pose risks to health if they are present at high levels. Examples of chemical hazards include lead, arsenic and benzene. Microbial hazards, include

such as arsenic and fluoride. some substances may prove more difficult to manage in bottled than tap water. guidance is available at the international level. This has. economic and environmental factors be taken into account through a risk-benefit approach when adapting the Guideline values to national standards. Fortunately. here fore. For water in carbouys. been argued for the case of lead. As the WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality are meant to be the scientific point of departure for standards development. viruses and parasites. Control of materials used in containers and closures for bottled waters is. certain factors may be more readily controlled than in piped distribution systems and stricter standards may. In addition. and Crytosporidium parvum. WHO recommends that social. may be more readily achieved than in piped distribution systems. therefore. Because of the large number of possible hazards in drinking-water. Contrary to this. The World Health Organization (WHO) publishes Guidelines for Drinkingwater Quality which many countries use as the basis to establish their own national standards. actual standards will sometimes vary from the Guidelines. In applying the WHO Guidelines to bottled waters. hepatitis A virus. of special concern. This growth appears to occur less frequently in gasified water and in water bottled in glass containers . This is generally because bottled water is stored for longer periods and at higher temperatures than water distributed in piped distribution systems. which many countries are unable to afford. which are normally of little or no public health significance. stricter standards for certain naturally-occurring substances of health concern. The Guidelines represent a scientific assessment of the risks to health from biological and chemical constituents of drinking-water and of the effectiveness of associated control measures. may grow to higher levels in bottled waters. when flexibility exists regarding the source of the water. such as Vibrio cholerae. respectively. the development of standards for drinking-water requires significant resources and expertise. including bottled water. some microorganisms. similar sanitary requirements for dispensing devices need to be observed. It should also be noted that water used for making edible ice should be subject to the same drinking-water standard and include specific sanitary requirements for equipment for making and storing ice. be preferred in order to reduce overall population exposure. Similarly. Physical hazards include glass chips and metal fragments.bacteria. for example.

WHO has no scientific information on the benefits or hazards of regularly consuming these types of bottled waters. bottled waters with very low mineral content. it should be disinfected. Consumers may not be able to detect this by taste alone and. in some countries. may be offered for sale. . Although certain mineral waters may be useful in providing essential micronutrients. many consumers believe that natural mineral waters have medicinal properties or offer other health benefits. THE POTENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF BOTTLED In European and certain other countries. such as calcium. Such waters have a long tradition of use and are often accepted on the basis that they are considered foods rather than drinking-water per se. such as infants and children. such as distilled or dematerialized waters. the public health significance of this remains little understood. There have also been reports of fraud in which ordinary tap water has been added to used mineral water bottles and sold as the original article. if concern is warranted. WHO is unaware of any convincing evidence to support the beneficial effects of consuming such mineral waters. in some cases. significantly above the concentrations normally accepted in drinkingwater. Such waters are typically of high mineral content and. In regard to infants.prior to its use in the preparation of infant formula. by boiling for one minute .compared to still water and water bottled in plastic containers.for example. as bottled water is not sterile. As a consequence. However. On the other hand. immuno-compromised individuals and the elderly. especially for vulnerable individuals. should examine the closures of bottled waters carefully before purchase and insist on seeing bottles opened in their presence in restaurants and other food and beverage service establishments. WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality do not make recommendations regarding minimum concentrations of essential compounds. While a large number of people have traditionally consumed rainwater which is similarly low in minerals without apparent adverse health effects. pregnant women.

the draft Codex Standard for Bottled/Packaged Waters has been proposed to include waters from other sources. such as a spring or well. their direct collection and bottling without further treatment from a natural source. Parties interested in participating in this work of Codex should contact the National Codex Contact Point in their country. The Codex Code of Practice for Collecting. The CAC has developed a Codex Standard for Natural Mineral Waters and an associated code of practice. The Codex Standard describes the product and its labeling. WHO. the Codex Committee for Natural Mineral Waters. hygiene. Codex health and safety requirements are recognized by the World Trade Organization as representing the international consensus for consumer protection and any deviation from Codex recommendations may require a scientifically-based justification. in addition to springs and wells. natural mineral waters must conform to strict requirements concerning.INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR BOTTLED DRINKING– WATER The intergovernmental body for the development of internationally recognized standards for food is the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC). In comparison. one of the co-sponsors of the CAC. This Commission is currently developing a draft of a Codex Standard for Bottled/Packaged Waters to cover drinking-water other than natural mineral waters. Processing and Marketing of Natural Mineral Waters provides guidance to the industry on a range of good manufacturing practices matters. notably the Codex Committees on Food Additives and Contaminants and Food Hygiene. Under the existing Codex Standard and Code of Practice. The distinctions between these standards are especially relevant in regions where natural mineral waters have a long cultural history. compositional and quality factors. While CAC standards and recommendations are not strictly mandatory. is responsible for the development of draft Codex Standards and Codes of Practice in consultation with other relevant Codex Committees. Within the CAC. packaging and labeling. and treatment to improve their safety and quality. which is hosted by Switzerland. has advocated the use of the Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality as the basis for derivation of standards for all bottled waters. for example. including limits for certain chemicals. .

shipped and stored in a safe and sanitary manner and be truthfully and accurately labeled. "spring water" is now defined as water collected as it flows naturally to the surface. "naturally flowed to the surface. The following may be used to answer questions: Bottled water." "sterile water" and "well water. not extracted. While many countries have national standards for bottled waters and some have national certification schemes. Bottled Water must be the same as that which comes from the spring's natural orifice." "mineral water. WHO does not permit its name or emblem to be used in connection with any commercial purposes. like all other foods regulated by FDA. helping to resolve possible confusion about what terms like "spring" and "ground" water really mean. for example. no universally accepted international certification scheme now exists." "spring water.It should be noted that neither the CAC nor WHO offer certification of any bottled or mineral water products. It must come from a protected underground source and contain at least 250 parts per million in total dissolved solids. For example. The new regulation sets standard definitions for different types of bottled waters." The regulation also requires mineral water to meet the bottled water quality standards. packaged. The regulation allows labeling to describe how the water came to the surface." "purified water." "ground water. In this regard." "sparkling bottled water. Bottled water products must also meet specific FDA quality standards for contaminants." They also bring mineral water under existing quality standards for bottled water. or when pumped through a bore hole from the spring source. Water that comes from the bore hole . Persons seeking information on bottled water certification should approach the national authorities in the country concerned. These are set in response to requirements that the Environmental Protection Agency has established for tap water. must be processed. Mineral water had previously been exempt from standards that apply to other bottled . BOTTLED WATER IDENTITY STANDARDS FINAL RULE FDA is publishing regulations on bottled water that will promote honesty and fair dealing in the marketplace by providing standard definitions for the terms "artesian water.

water bottled from municipal water supplies must be clearly labeled as such. unless it is processed sufficiently to be labeled as "distilled" or "purified" water. POTASSIUM: Aids in the functioning of your blood sugar metabolism. the labeling must indicate that it is not sterile and should be used in preparation of infant formula only as directed by a physician or according to infant formula preparation instructions.4 seems to be an optimum level for the body to maintain its health. Strengthens the immune system & controls blood pressure.once to allow a trade group to conduct a survey on the meaning of "spring water" and later to allow comment on two surveys that were submitted to FDA. pH FACTOR: Acid/alkaline level 7. SULFATES: Are natural cleaning agents. CHLORIDES: Help maintain & regulate the acid balance in the stomach and intestines. However. Such beverages must be safe and truthfully labeled. For example. The regulation does not pertain to soft drinks and similar beverages that do not highlight a water ingredient. that water must meet bottled water standards. FDA received more than 430 comments. . if the water ingredient is highlighted in any way. SILICA: Natural Cleaning Agent. The comment period was extended twice -. the regulation addresses various other labeling concerns. Ingredients of Mineral Water CALCIUM: MAGNESIUM: Helps build and maintain bones and teeth.waters. like all other foods. BICARBONATES: Help maintain & regulate the acid balance in the stomach an intestines. If a product is labeled "sterile" it must be processed to meet FDA's requirements for commercial sterility. FLUORIDE: This mineral aids in the prevention of tooth decay. Besides defining several terms. SODIUM: Important to maintain the balance of water in the body. most of which were supportive of the proposal. Otherwise. The regulation also requires accurate labeling of bottled waters marketed for infants.

500 mg/l and do not specify a minimum.Golden Eagle. the bacteria in all cases were found to be non-pathogenic (not disease-causing). . too much of which can cause serious brain disorders. Needed in small amounts. the tests showed that none of the brands were free from bacteria. WHY THEY FAIL Of the eight brands of bottled drinking water considered for testing. the FDA rules stipulate that to qualify as mineral water it has to contain a minimum of 250 mg per litre (mg/l) of such Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) as these are classified.made specific claims of being "germ free" or "100% bacteria free". Although three of the manufacturers -. Bisil (Mehsana) -.contained visible floating particles. Bisleri (Ghaziabad). was found to be above the maximum limit in one brand: Bailley (Surat).Bisleri (Calcutta unit). However. was found to be in high quantities in Yes (Nadiad). in violation of quality standards. Nirantar and Trupthi -. Of the five mineral water brands tested. In India. While fluoride is an essential element for both humans and animals. calcium. especially for infants.were also found to contain foreign particles. Yes also had a fluoride content slightly below the maximum permissible level. five brands -. sodium and other salts which in the right mix add taste and have nutritional value. and Nirantar (Thane) . a cumulative poison that adversely affects the body. Golden Eagle (Chennai). Bisleri (Bangalore). Aluminium.Aquafina (Mumbai). too much of it can lead to debilitating diseases such as fluorosis. the PFA Act and BIS only mention the maximum as 1. YOU will note that Colfax Mineral Water is higher (often much higher) in mineral content in almost every category! THE STANDARD All water found in natural sources does contain minerals such as magnesium. Iron deficiency is one of causes of anemia.NITRATES: IRON: High nitrate levels are considered unhealthy. Arsenic. In the US. three -. Trupthi (Chennai).

Dr. the government has notified that all the mineral water manufacturers and traders will now have to seek ISI certification from Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)" stated by him. Trupthi and Yes -. Thakur.P. can cause serious health problems. Of the 13 brands of bottled water tested. government seeks to differentiate between ‘Natural Mineral water’ and the ‘Packaged Drinking Water’. it has relaxed limits. "According to the new standards. Saiganga (Ahmednagar) was rated the best. and even of the plant and the packaging material.The CERs test results reveal that the same brands like Bisleri and Bailley bottled in different parts of the country show much disparity in their composition and quality. manufacturer of the ‘Natural Mineral Water’ have to maintain the purity of the source. There are no statutory standards for bottled drinking water in India. Labelling information on source and composition of dissolved solids was missing from all the brands. Only three brands -.A "The new quality standards laid down in the final notification by the government for the bottled / mineral water industry are in line with the international standards" stated Minister for Health & Family Welfare. The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act has statutory standards only for mineral water. followed by Bisleri (Baroda) and Bailley (Mumbai). while addressing the seminar on Mineral /Bottled water organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi. for items like lead. It raises the question whether these can be sold under a single brand name or should be distinguished. the surroundings. in terms of highest standards of hygiene. With this new notification. Even then. so that the quality of the end product is assured". lead. All the brands passed the tests for substances such as nitrates. mercury and organo-pesticides that. "Keeping in mind the consumer interest and public health. C. only three brands conformed to all the specifications. sulphates. "Under Prevention of Food Adulteration rules 1955 only standards for ‘mineral water’ were defined." the Minister said while elaborating on the PFA rules. "On the other hand. compared to international rules. MINERAL WATER INDUSTRY TO GROW BY 25% P.Golden Eagle.can be classified as "mineral water" if international standards are applied. cyanides. if present in excessive quantities. the standard for .

While talking about the codes of hygiene being followed mandatory by the developed world. "Indian manufacturers comply by these HACCP standards while catering to the export market but tend to deviate from these standards for the domestic market. according to Dr. Currently. Vijai Kapur. Director General. Mr. its market size is about Rs. Thakur said that these concepts have not yet been introduced in India mandatory. and thus have a common profile. 600700 crores. is more flexible in terms of source and processing". 9 out of 12 known brands were found to be non-conforming to BIS / PFA standards. According to Mr. Member CII National Council. Singh pointed out that according to a recent survey conducted by an NGO. The notification aims to regulate labeling of these products as well. While elaborating on the PFA standards. According to him. BIS while elaborating on the licensing of the bottled water industry. Mr. urged the concerned regulatory authorities to explore bar coding for the mineral water industry. Nautiyal.packaged drinking water. . it could ensure compliance of quality standard by the manufacturers and assure consumers of it quality. countrywide. CII Small Industry Committee owing to increasing urbanization and industrialization. S. which is being introduced for the first time. irrespective of source or location. Chairman. the industry has a much more responsible role to play now in ensuring quality of its products and by not making claims that it can not substantiate. divulged that Five Mineral / Bottled water companies have been licensed until now by the BIS and many more are in the pipeline. Mr. It will enable manufacturers to create a standardized product under a consumer brand name. In line with the Good Manufacturing Practices followed by the developed market." Dr. CII Chairman lauded Government’s initiatives to align the national standards under BIS/PFA for the bottled water sector as the standards under Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) are deviating from the BIS and international standards. Elaborating on the issue. Thakur candidly stated. he added. Dr. the mineral water industry is expected to grow at a phenomenal rate of 25% per annum in the coming years. Inderdeep Singh. the developed countries where the manufacturers mandatory have to follow the concept of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) which seeks to ensure the quality of the end product. Thakur.

Hot water -.Kinley readies for war with 500ml pack for Rs 4 New Delhi: A price war is set to erupt in the Rs 400-crore packaged water market with Coca Cola India (CCI) readying to launch its first aggressive salvo. Coke seems to have gone a step ahead and undercut the market leader Parle Bisleri whose 500-ml bottle is priced at Rs 5. The next campaign with a ``new endorsement strategy'' is likely to break in March 2001. Pepsi's Aquafina is priced at a slight premium in comparison to the leading mineral water brand Bisleri which is priced at Rs 10 for a 1 litre bottle.50. and is due to be launched in Delhi. By pricing Kinley-500 ml bottle at Rs 4. this season: the company is going to launch its packaged water brand Kinley in a 500-ml PET bottle. this week. we'll drop our earlier endorsement campaign to comply with the laws. According to industry sources. Kinley's initiative comes close on the heels of the launch of Chotu Bailey. A change in the positioning of Coke's water brand is also on the cards. a 350-ml bottle launched by Parle Bailey at Rs 3. ``While we'll continue to be positioned on the health plank. . A national roll-out of the 500-ml bottle is likely to follow in the coming months. Pepsi's Aquafina is currently available in just one pack-750 ml and is priced at Rs 10.'' a Coke spokesperson told The Financial Express. priced at Rs 4. Coke. two months ago. says that the Rs 4 price is an introductory offer and that the company would be revising its prices shortly. the 500 ml Kinley pack was launched in Ahmedabad in Gujarat last week. however.

which besides making ISI certification mandatory also prohibits companies from making claims on packaged water's medicinal benefits. near Bangalore. The company plans to either add more water bottling operations or go for contract bottling as it goes nationally. 2001. this week. launched in August 2000 in 1-litre PET bottle at Rs 10. 2000. Though details are not known. Maharashtra. Goa. Dasna in UP. The water is being produced at Coca-Cola's three greenfield manufacturing plant located at Bidadi. has not been rolled out nationally so far. . CCI is also readying for a new positioning of Kinley water in order to adhere to the amendment to the PFA Rules 1955 issued on September 29. It was launched in Goa.NEW POSITIONING Meanwhile. Kinley water. The brand is yet to be distributed in the East. the company is believed to have dropped the `doctor's recommended' certification and is coming out with a new advertising campaign to communicate its new positioning in March 2001. The deadline to abide by these rules is March 29. It may be recalled that Coke had roped in a Federation of Family Physicians Associations of India (FFPAI) to certify its Kinley water and position it on a health plank.

Orissa and the North-East.Bisleri. rather than for the home segment. Aquafina's 750-ml packs are priced at Rs 10.BUSINESS LINE P. . with Aquafina. The 330-ml `Chottu Bailley'. At Rs 7 for 500 ml. According to officials at Pepsi Foods Ltd. from Coca-Cola India. by entering into contract manufacturing alliances with two domestic manufacturers -. from Parle Agro Ltd. However.'' Industry sources told Business Line that the company may also look at alternative pack sizes like 1. Pepsi sources told Business Line that Aquafina's small pack entered the Uttar Pradesh market last week and was expected to enter Mumbai in a couple of days.50. About a month ago. Though popular at Rs 3. the `Good Water ' and `Krystal' brands from these two manufacturers have been withdrawn. Calcutta and Bangalore.'' Only recently. Uttaranchal. Kinley and Nestle's PureLife -. Pepsi hoped to cover other cities across the country shortly.Thermax Culligan Water Technologies Ltd in the West and Nuchem Weir Ltd in the North. Kinley had created a splash in the 20-litre segment. the company had also launched its one-litre pack at Rs 12. the higher price will not be a hindering factor. Competitors in the segment include Bisleri at Rs 5 for 500 ml and Kinley.5 litres and two litres. Subsequently. had hit the road with much fanfare. Aquafina is priced marginally higher than similar products in the estimated Rs 1. as the products are at a premium and reflect an ``attitude. they pointed out that the 20-litre segment may not hold much interest for the company. as it was ``more an institutional pack. Aquafina is being manufactured at four of the company's plants at Roha. also entering the 500-ml segment last week. it ran into a road-block.T. at least in the packaged water segment. Jyothi Datta NEW DELHI SMALL is where the action is. The one-litre packs are currently being placed in the markets of Patna. the water-brand from the Pepsi-stable.000-crore packaged water segment. This too stands higher than competitors in the segment -. at Rs 4. a notification that outlawed sizes like 330 ml.priced at Rs 10 per litre. Bihar.

safe and balanced drinking water for the family'. In India Nestlé has recently introduced. Pure Life is a high quality product available at a popular price and carries the Nestle Seal of Guarantee. the product will subsequently be available in other cities across the country.NESTLE LAUNCHES PURE LIFE LiveBazaar Nestlé India recently launched the PURE LIFE brand of drinking water in the Pune market. Launched in Pune. The water is being bottled under stringent quality control at the company's new water plant in Haryana where over 100 microbiological and chemical tests are conducted daily to ensure the consistency and purity of the water. 'PERRIER' and 'SAN PELLEGRINO' which cater to niche markets. While the bottle has a proprietary design. . The technology received from the Nestlé Group has enabled Nestlé India not only to put in processes that ensure quality. it also has a unique tamper-evident 3-D Hologram Seal mounted on the shrink sleeve. The packaging of Pure Life is rigorous and innovative to maximize safety for the consumer. Pure Life has been launched to cater to the extensive segment of popular priced processed waters. in the consumer-preferred 1-litre pack at Rs 14. two of the globally acclaimed premium mineral water brands. The product was conceived and developed by the Nestlé Research Centre in Switzerland and its Water Institute in France as 'pure. The bottle also has a non-standard cap width to deter commercial re-bottling. in a limited way. Pure Life contains a balance of essential minerals and a light pleasant taste that consumers like. but also introduce new packaging features to maximise safety.

components like caps and bottles are . Area surrounding the water collection tube at the surface is protected and kept clean. keeping in mind all aspects including freshness. Ozone is unstable trivalent oxygen. a very powerful bactericide with no side effect. ultraviolet treatment and ozonisation process is carried out. PURIFICATION-PROCESS Purity and safety are two major factors taken care in sourcing and processing of Bisleri water. and making it easily available to the consumer at a very affordable price. Sterilization effect of ozonised water continues even after water is packaged. as it disintegrates into oxygen within couple of hours. PROCESSING AND QUALITY ASSURANCE The casing tube itself is protected with stainless steel mesh to give preliminary filtration to the water. thereby ensuring safety of Bisleri up to its final packing.01 micron the process renders water free o micro-organisms and also reduces dissolved solids To ensure Bisleri mineral water is held safe free from contaminations. To ensure high quality of packing materials. Underground spring is carefully selected based on its portability and pathogen free water. Only water below 25 meters is tapped. Ultra filtration gives water reduction in turbidity and adds sparkle Activated carbon purifier to remove colour and odour in water Reverse osmosis membrane has porosity of less than 0. purity and safety. This is to avoid any surface contamination to percolate and mix with underground water source.BISLERI MISSION STATEMENT To provide the highest quality product. Great care goes in tapping this source.

.manufactured in-house from resins of quality suppliers. Bisleri's brand positioning stresses on pure. Bisleri hopes to boost its sales by more than 400%. Bisleri also recognizes the need to produce environment friendly products and is working on the PET project. Processing is religiously monitored at every stage. FUTURE PLANS Bisleri was the first to market bottled water in a totally virgin market and naturally people associate the brand with bottled water. Good Manufacturing Practices are stringently followed at all times. clean and safe drinking water. Sales have grown by 140% in the year 2000 and in the coming year. shelf life studies. Now Bisleri is perhaps already ten steps ahead of its competitors and will endeavor to widen its gap in the months to come. forms an integral part of quality and safety assurance-plan. 150 crores TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENTS To make sure that the product that reaches the consumer is always high quality and also meets international standards. One such recent development is the tamper proof break away seal. Some of the future plans to maintain the top spot that Bisleri commands in the Indian market are: • New pack sizes in bottles and cups • Increase the distribution network with an investment of over 200 crores • Strengthen presence in traditionally weak areas by setting up 12 new bottling facilities at a cost of Rs. processing parameters. packaging material integrity and finally. Bisleri has always been involved in improving its product packaging. Testing source water. microbial quality.

The unique cap has been patented and cannot be duplicated or tampered with. PRODUCT PACKAGING: To ensure purity of the bottled water. the harmful minerals and compounds are removed from the water through reverse osmosis technique. flower vase. since PET bottles are not biodegradable and not easy to dispose. The company is currently working on the PET recycling project. which within a few days acts as a breeding place for bacteria. WHAT ADVANTAGES BISLERI PURIFICATION PROCESS HAS OVER PURIFICATION DONE BY OTHER GADGETS? In the water purifiers. the water is disinfected through ozonation process. gift items etc. all the water quality aspects are taken care of during Bisleri water purification process to deliver a pure and safe product to the consumer . THE PET RECYCLING PROJECT: Bisleri is extremely conscious of environmental issues. PET containers for the non-food industry and other PET items like polyester fibre. In this way. Unknowing to a user. Bisleri developed the break away seal. the bottles that are used are blown and filled at the factory itself. where they will collect bottles from various places. the water purifier might actually become a water polluter. This shredded material will then be made into ropes . The carbon and the cartridge filter in water purifiers must be cleaned daily. which is a globally proven technology for effective disinfection of drinking water. to avoid contamination. suspended particles and bacteria in the water gets entrapped in the cartridge filter.THE BREAK AWAY SEAL: Keeping in mind the consumer's need to recognise a genuine product that cannot be tampered with. crush and shred them. This technology development in the product ensures that the consumer will only get a highly safe product when they consume Bisleri mineral water. During Bisleri water purification Process. Besides this. which if not carried out makes the entire system ineffective.

in 1998. when Parle Exports took charge of the brand operations and the business took off in the market.THE PRESENT It was around the year 1995. That thinking has slowly changed to the point where today. i. Bisleri established itself as a force to reckon with in the domestic mineral water market. street shops. a strategy was adopted to concentrate aggressively on the home market. making bottled water very economical for the consumer. Such has been the presence and penetration of the Bisleri brand in the bottled water segment. As a marketing strategy. drinking bottled water was considered to be more of a status symbol. About two years ago. 5 and 20 litre bottles were introduced to meet this market need. The habit of boiling water or using electronic gadgets was not adequate. Earlier the mineral water market consisted of five star hotels. tourists and foreigners. not drinking Bisleri is considered as being behind the times. . This brought about a sea change in the perception in the consumer's mind about consumption of Bisleri. general stores and even non-tourists. With factories across India and a strong distribution network. The bulk packages like the 2. Earlier. since the source of water itself was unreliable. a conscious decision was taken by the company that only 40% of the sales should come from these outlets and 60% from general market. paanwallas.e. The price per litre went down as a result.

" Recent FDA rules now in force do require that if water is taken from a municipal source and not treated further. according to the trade press). The percentage of bottled water derived from tap water may be rising. . sometimes not. because some major bottlers have begun to sell new brands of water derived from city tap water. Aquafina® bottles. which picture beautiful stylized mountains on the label. do not mention that the water is derived from municipal tap water. there is no requirement to label its municipal source. because it considers its water "purified water" under this exception. Pepsi executives defend the practice. if the water is treated using any of several common technologies (some of which could fail to filter out certain contaminants. One popular launched brand of bottled water is Pepsico's Aquafina® brand (which reportedly has taken Pepsi into the top 10 sellers of bottled water in India." However.sometimes further treated. Apparently Pepsi is permitted to not mention on the Aquafina® label that its water derives from municipal tap water. One IBWA expert reportedly estimated in 1992 that 40 percent of the bottled water was derived from tap water. "Pepsi spokesman Larry Jabbonsky made no apologies for the Aquafina label or advertising and said Pepsi isn't hiding anything.SELLING BOTTLED TAP WATER What exactly are consumers getting for their money? Is the bottled water industry's carefully marketed image of absolute purity and pristine sources an accurate reflection of where bottled water comes from. with sales jumping 126 percent in one year to more than $52 million in 1997. The water reportedly is treated tap water taken from 11 different city and town water supplies across the nation. and is the water really so immaculately pure compared with tap water? Government and industry estimates indicate that about 25 percent to 30 percent of the bottled water sold in the India comes from a city's or town's tap water -. He said anyone can find out the true source of Aquafina by calling the 800 number on the bottle top. In a 1997 report. the bottle label must indicate that it is "from a municipal source" or "from a community water system. depending upon the treatment used).