Bottled Water Partnerships Are Abundant

Nov. 19, 2002

Opportunities are everywhere for bottled water companies keeping an eye open.

Although  many large beverage companies are getting the "big" deals, smaller and mid-size companies should take note. Smaller companies can learn lessons from these beverage giants and find opportunity where others may not see it.

Partnerships can develop and prosper just about anywhere. Take a look at grocery stores, movie theaters, local tourism organizations, local restaurants, bowling alleys, fitness centers and maybe even public water systems.

Many smaller bottlers have even partnered with the big beverage companies such as Pepsi Co.

Private labeling has become a big business and powerful marketing tool. Your bottled water company's success depends on your level of creativity. Challenge yourself to make those unique partnerships work. Here are some examples of partnerships from big businesses that teach where to find that next customer.

1. VISIT FLORIDA, the state's official tourism marketing organization, partnered with Miami-based BEVsystems International, Inc. for the distribution and promotion of Florida's "official" water under the FLA USA brand. The agreement is intended to increase the availability of the product to consumers within Florida as well as nationally and internationally.

VISIT FLORIDA is a unique not-for-profit corporation that markets Florida tourism on behalf of the Florida Commission on Tourism.

"We are very excited to bring the FLA USA brand of bottled water to the mass marketplace," said David Gardner, director of brand development for VISIT FLORIDA. "The FLA USA bottled water product has been a hit with consumers, and we now need the distribution channels that BEVsystems can provide to allow the brand to reach the mass marketplace."

2. The Walt Disney Co. and the Coca-Cola Co. expanded their multiyear agreement by which DASANI water will be the featured bottled water at Disney's U.S. parks and resorts. The water also will be served on the Disney Cruise Line. The alliance includes sponsorship and promotional opportunities including advertising buys across Disney's media properties through ABC Unlimited.

DASANI also will be an associate sponsor of The Walt Disney World Marathon. Additionally, the Coca-Cola Co. will expand DASANI's media spend across Disney's media properties such as ABC-TV, ESPN and Lifetime.

3. StonePoint Group Ltd. signed a manufacturing agreement with Target Corp. to supply private labeled bottled water to Target retail stores nationwide. Target's private labeled bottled water is established under Target's grocery and produce brand, Archer Farms Market.

"In 2001, we demonstrated the success of our business model with a select number of high profile partners such as 7-Eleven and Macy's," said Ted Konyi, president of StonePoint.

In addition, StonePoint was awarded the private label PET bottled water business for 148 Albertson's Grocery stores in the northwest United States.

"It furthers our view that national retailers are increasingly seeking a complete solution that meets all their private label water requirements on both a regional and national basis," Konyi said.        

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