- SodaStream has publicly rejected a cease and desist letter from the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) that demands SodaStream take down its new video campaign, which targets bottled water from an environmental perspective, according to a news release.
- The campaign, titled "Shame or Glory," advocates that consumers cut down on packaging waste from single-serve plastic water bottles by using local tap water to make sparkling water at home.
- In its letter, IBWA claims that bottled water is safer than U.S. tap water, which SodaStream argues is "misleading" and "baseless fear mongering in order to boost corporate profits," per the news release.
Now that SodaStream has its mojo back as a sparkling water brand, the company is going on the offensive to not only defend its product but to question the sustainability of its competitors. As the company's top and bottom-line growth have both rebounded, SodaStream now likely has better cash flow to be able to invest in aggressive marketing campaigns and defend any potential litigation that could arise.
In certain areas of the country like Flint, MI, or Decatur, AL, the IBWA's concerns about tap water safety are proven to be valid. In August, Harvard researchers released a study that found unsafe levels of certain common industrial chemicals associated with potentially serious health complications in certain samples of U.S. drinking water.
However, experts have consistently found U.S. tap water to be among the safest drinking sources worldwide, due in part to regulations like the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 and its subsequent amendments. Also, even bottled water may not always be sourced the way consumers believe it is.
In 1999, the National Resources Defense Council concluded after a four-year review that about 25% or more of bottled water is actually tap water. And while that study may be nearly two decades old, PepsiCo's Aquafina brand announced just last year that its bottled water came from a "public water source," or shared origins with tap water, prior to its filtration process. Aquafina began labeling its bottled water with that information after claims that the brand was misleading consumers.