Why Bottled Water Is So Expensive ?

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Written By John Stephen
I’m John, the person behind the aquahow blog. I love to investigate water conditions and ways of building water filters. Mostly for my aquariums and home use.

Due to recent Inflation in the United States Of America and other countries, you might have seen that the prices of other products increased, and so does bottled water. But why would it be so expensive if it is just water? Let’s find out how it works!

Is Bottled Water Really Expensive Or Not?

You go to a nearby superstore and get a water bottle from your favorite brand, like Dasani, Aquafina, or any other.

At that point, you will know exactly how much a person at the shop will charge you.

However, if you are a day person who lives only on bottled water, there is no one better than you who can understand the pricing effect of bottled water.

In the United States, people spend hundreds of dollars buying clean bottled water because they have no more trust in their local water supply lines or municipal water systems.

According to one estimation, an average 20-ounce water bottle costs approximately $1.5 or $2 (maybe more these days due to Inflation).

When you turn this cost or take this concept for the gallons of water, it could cost you around $9.60 to $10.50 per gallon, which is huge.

It means you have to pay at least 20 dollars daily if you use two gallons of water daily. And for a month, it could be around $600 you would only be spending on buying filtered bottled water.

This price is huge and hard to deal with for a normal person who earns a normal wage. So, yes, we can say that bottled water is costly.

Why Bottled Water Is So Expensive?

Do you know? A quantity of tap water bought at the cost of $2.10 can fill up to 4787 bottles.

That could be alarming to you when you are actually purchasing a single water bottle at this cost.

We likely pay double or sometimes triple if the economic conditions are not normal for buying bottled water that we have selected for our drinking and cooking needs.

But why is that so? The reason is,

Bottled water doesn’t reach you as tap water does. Companies incur production costs, filtering, packaging, logistics, labor, plants, chemicals, and more in producing a single water bottle. Also, producing a single water bottle usually takes three times more water than a water bottle can hold.

Even if certain big factors cause this water to become this expensive, bottled water manufacturing companies try to keep the costs of bottled water at a very minimum level.

But despite this, the water inside a bottle has already gone more expensive before you take a sip.

In a hurry? Don’t be; read more about bottled water in our bottled water-ultimate guide. You will find more details there!

Top 6 Reasons For Bottled Water Being Expensive:

In the USA and other parts of the world, where clean and pure water through the taps is unavailable, bottled water has become a great business.

Every day, people are trying to put more plants and bring water to the customer’s reach packed in those shiny water bottles.

It has become an industry of its own. But when we find out, we see water being so much expensive when we buy it packed in bottles.

Every water plant owner can explain certain significant reasons for this overpricing or high pricing. Please have a look at some of them as these are described below.

1 Sourcing The Water And Installing The Plant Costs:

Just forget about the surveys and costs incurred on analysis to find out what problems people might face while dealing with their current water situations.

Let’s start with where the water will be sourced.

The more complicated the water source will be, the more costs it will take to get supplied, filtered, and packed in a water bottle.

Usually, bottled water production companies source water through their local municipal corporation. In the united states, almost 25% of water is sourced through public water supply lines.

The other 75% is through the springs, wells, streams, aquifers, and more Underground natural places. In these conditions, the manufacturers have to face the following costs at the beginning.

After paying these costs, a factory owner starts supplying or making the water available at its newly settled plant, and the next phase starts.

2 Production Costs For The Water:

It doesn’t matter where this water is sourced; these companies just don’t pack the same water into the water bottles.

Before packing, they produce this water or treat it. It likely takes three times more water to produce a quantity of water than a single bottle can hold. A bottled water manufacturing company might have to deal with the following costs at this phase.

  • Usage of chemicals to clean this water is taken from the tap, wells, springs, or other sources. Because there can be a lot of bacteria and other impurities present in this water. This cause the company with a certain cost for buying chemicals.
  • Costs of following comprehensive water filtration processes like Distillation, Reverse Osmosis, Carbon Filtration, and others.
  • Costs for buying extra water that just goes waste while producing less bottled water that shall be pure, healthy, and safe to drink.
  • Extra costs improve the water’s taste, smell, and color. Companies sometimes add flavors to their different water products to produce a variation.

Besides, other costs can be incurred while filtering water and producing the cleaned one from it.

3 Costs For The Materials Used To Produce Water Bottles:

Once the water is sourced and filtered and its quality has been improved, that will not be sent to you through any normal supply lines.

Of course, you get it in the form of either plastic water bottles or gallons.

Water bottle manufacturing companies must pass through this third phase of cost: producing the bottles of water in which this treated water will be packed.

At this age, a company or a brand might face the following costs.

  • Supplying raw materials such as plastic or recycling old plastic.
  • Installing a different and separate plant for the production of water bottles only
  • Costs are incurred on acquiring engineers, laborers, technicians, and lab experts so these water bottles may not contain harmful chemicals that may leach into the water when it gets packed.
  • Costs incurred for meeting the standard guidelines and rules proposed by a specific govt or state.

Or there could be other costs incurred during this phase of production of water bottles.

Once you successfully make a couple of units of these water bottles, you are ready to move to the next stage.

4 Packaging And Designing Costs:

You will never send a water bottle without your company branding.

Otherwise, how would people recognize you and be ready to buy your bottled water for the very next time?

That’s why companies spend thousands of dollars on unique branding, logo design, packaging, and physical and online advertisement.

We often see multiple ads for famous water bottle brands like Nestle Pure Life, Deer, Essentia, Evian, and many others on our television screens while watching it.

While passing through this phase, water bottle manufacturing companies do have to spend money so that they can labialize their water bottles with their unique trademark and logo.

Besides, they could let people know their water’s most comparative and better features even better than the competitors in the market.

Such a process also causes them considerable costs even if the company has been working for years or it is just a new startup!

5 Labor Costs:

It doesn’t matter how hard you try and how much effort you make; you cannot produce even a single water bottle meeting the FDA and EPA Bottled Water Safety Guidelines without help.

Because after reading the above, you might have realized that you need people to work with you and work for you.

It empowers you to bring your ideas into reality and compete in the market with a minimum acceptable cost for a water bottle.

Companies hire lots of people as laborers to do this job. This labor is hired and managed by paying salaries and other benefits that also cause costs.

Water bottle manufacturing companies will surely take this cost back by selling their only product. And at that moment, it is going to be really expensive.

However, you cannot do what you want without motivated, trained, skillful, and educated labor!

6 Shipment Or Logistics Costs:

Several costs might occur in this last production phase and make water reach your nearest doorsteps.

Factories or companies that have done producing and packaged a certain quantity of bottled water units become ready to send these units into the market.

During this, there is another cost which becomes the reason for attention. While Shipment and logistics, the following costs may impact bottled water prices.

  • Costs of sending water to the whole sellers or traders.
  • Traders add their own commission and make these units a little more expensive.
  • From traders, the water bottle comes from simple stores or shops. A shopkeeper also adds his own profit in selling that water bottle.
  • And there can be other costs of buying supply vehicles, fuel and taking services from a logistic company, importing if it is international trade, tax, and more.

Hence, before you open the cap of a water bottle and take a sip from it to kill your thirst, your water has been through all these procedures.

You might haven’t known these before.

But I am pretty sure that you have a clear vision of why these water bottles are expensive and why buying bottled water can cost you this much monthly or yearly.

How Much More Expensive Is Bottled Water Than Tap Water?

As compared to the costs you have to pay for bottled water, tap water is just nothing.

That’s because tap water filtration responsibility is under the Municipal Water Supply, which is basically working under the Govt control.

The water they send to your houses(if treated) doesn’t cost you much than the water you buy in a gallon or water bottle from your nearby store.

In the United States only, a gallon of tap water, approximately 3.8 liters, costs you $0.005 compared to the same amount of bottled water.

But bottled water produced from the same source in one-gallon capacity would cost you almost $9.47, which is highly alarming.

Therefore, the following could be the approximate costs of buying bottled water vs. tap water in a year if you live in the United States Of America.

Capacity Of Water In GallonsTap Water Cost ($)Yearly Cost For Tap Water ($)Bottled Water Cost ($)Yearly Cost For Bottled Water ($)
1 Gallon (3.8 liters)0.0051.8259.473456.55
2 Gallons (7.6 liters)0.013.6518.946913.1
3 Gallons (11.4 Liters)0.0310.9556.8220739.3
4 Gallons (15.4 liters)0.1243.8227.2882957.2
5 Gallons (19 liters)0.62191136.4414786
6 Gallons ( 22.8 liters)3.613146818.42488716

The table can show you that if there is a food business such as a restaurant running on tap water and utilizing approximately 6 gallons of water, its yearly costs for the tap water would be 1314 bucks.

While for bottled water, these costs may go to 2M bucks.

However, nobody is so nice in America to use only bottled water for cooking and other drinking purpose.

You know what I mean!

Why Are Bottled Water Prices Increasing In 2022?

In 2022, there is likely an expectation, and even if it is happening, that Bottle water prices may rise. The reason behind this is the recent Inflation all over the world.

According to the INSEE, in May, the recorded Inflation was +5.2% which states that a pack of bottled water with 6 in quantity may rise by 10 percent.

If it costs up to $20, soon the price may go up by 10%, and you have to pay an extra 2 bucks on the same amount of water bottles.

It would be 22 bucks, and that’s all because of the Inflation hitting the price of commodities in the united states as well as the rest world.

Besides the production costs, the rise in the costs of raw materials used for water bottles, and several other costs, there are more chances that water will go expensive daily.

Why Is Life Bottled Water So Expensive?

A water bottle from Nestle Pure Life water brand of 8 Fl (oz) capacity costs approximately $1.9, which means it is expensive.

It is so expensive because Pure Life water is produced through extensive Filtration Processes and with more care.

They add quality minerals, including Potassium, Magnesium, and calcium, and ensure zero sugar and calories.

A water bottle like this could be perfect for your daily jogging routines, gym workout, at the table for instant hydration, and several other reasons.

Why Is Fiji Bottled Water So Expensive?

From the Wall Street Journal, the basic reason Fiji Water is expensive is that it comes from Fiji.

Since there is Inflation to a greater degree, they have to incur more shipment costs, which emphasizes selling more expensive water bottles.

Fiji water is basically artesian water; when they have to ship or supply it from the Pacific Ocean, the supply costs rise.

Resulting to that, the brand is bound to sell its water bottles at a little expensive pricing point!

How Can You Reduce The Expenditure Of Using Bottled Water?

It must have been hard for you to manage your monthly expenditure related to other household and grocery items, and then water comes as an additional.

Bottled water can make you spend a lot of money.

But if you just follow some basic helping techniques, you might be able to save yourself from these extra expenditures.

Having A Reusable Water Bottle:

Don’t spend money repeatedly to buy a bottle of mineral water wherever you go.

Instead, have a reusable plastic or stainless steel water bottle to help you carry water yourself. The next time you are thirsty, you can drink from it.

Use Filtration At Home:

If you have less money and your home’s tap water is not worth drinking, try installing a filter at the house.

Or try using a water filter jug to improve the quality and taste of your tap water.

What About Having A Separate Drinking Water Tap?

Call your local Sanitary Service Providing Expert and ask him to install a Drinking Water Tap in the kitchen or anywhere in the house.

It will have a filter working in the background, purifying and improving the water quality reaching your tap.

Final Thoughts:

Buying an expensive water bottle is always a wonder when there is a lot of water available through the taps and other sources. But who knows if that water is worth drinking or not? That’s why, due to several health concerns, people don’t overthink spending money while buying these water bottles, no matter how much they cost. However, still, there is a need to introduce a cheaper way to provide healthy water to the people.

Hence, that was all for today. See you at the next one. Drink healthy, stay healthy!

References:

Miller, M., 2006. Bottled water: why is it so big? Causes for the rapid growth of bottled water industries.

Doria, M.F., 2006. Bottled water versus tap water: understanding consumers’ preferences. Journal of water and health4(2), pp.271-276.

Entrepreneur, A.T.M. / P. at P.V.M.L.T.M. is a Developer, R.E., CEO, and Ltd, P.P. (2018). How Much It Costs to Start a Water Bottling Company. [online] ProfitableVenture. Available at: https://www.profitableventure.com/bottled-water-company-cost/.

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