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Tapping into the bottled water revolution

Australians buy $700 million of bottled water annually – despite the fact that it flows freely from every household tap.

That figure, and the projected growth rate for bottled water into the foreseeable future, is an indication of just how discerning we are about the perceived quality of the H2O passing our lips.

As the developed world hones its focus on wellness and sustainability, flavoured waters, such as lightly sparkling spring water with a hint of lime, are increasingly jostling for minibar space alongside soft drinks.

And straight-up water drinkers are ever more judgemental about how that perfect drop is packaged, stored, transported and collected.

Accommodation which packages its water appealingly can convey numerous positive messages to its guests.

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An unassuming little one litre bottle speaks volumes about a brand’s approach to quality, health, sustainability, the environment and, most importantly, to its clientele.

Quite simply, it makes economic sense to tap into the consumer’s thirst for pure water.

So, what are the best options for water supply?

Drinking water fountains and coolers are an old favourite for high traffic areas. Freestanding or wall mounted, they can either serve bottled spring water delivered by suppliers or connect to a property’s mains water supply and accommodate an internal carbon filter, which removes tastes, odours, chemicals, heavy metals, and microorganisms such as giardia and cryptosporidium.

A water fountain is capable of dispensing up to 25 litres of chilled water per hour making it ideal for any busy environment and it can be branded to become an effective marketing tool.

Water bars are compact, energy-efficient countertop water dispensers that provide filtered, purified, chilled, warm, and boiling water at the touch of a button.

They are plumbed into the mains supply but don’t require drainage plumbing thanks to a removable drip tray.

The water passes through a carbon filter, then splits off to either the hot or cold tank where it is exposed to ultraviolet light from a UV lamp inside the tank to prevent regrowth of micro-organisms.

Water bars are an ideal in-room solution – replacing kettles and chilled water jugs – and also suit public areas such as lobbies, gyms, spas and particularly conference spaces, freeing up staff time by allowing guests can help themselves to drinks.

Chilled water for self-service in bar areas, for example, allows venues to meet the license regulations without staff needing to constantly fill urns with ice and water.

Custom-branded water bottles, whether serving filtered tap water or a delivered spring water, are a useful marketing tool. They can add value to both the product and the provider by tapping into the status of a trusted brand. Be warned though; that branded bottle of water had better deliver on taste or the exercise can seriously backfire.

Plastic bottles which are fully recyclable, BPA free and certified carbon neutral score well with guests and again are a good advert for your brand’s green credentials.

One industry insider told Accomnews locally-sourced spring water was particularly well received, saying: “Accommodation providers are showing a preference for thinking locally and supporting smaller operations, with positive feedback from guests.”

Branded glass or stainless steel bottles can also be a great advert for your product and showcase an accommodation provider’s sustainability commitments to a captive audience.  Durable designer bottles deliver a powerful message about a property’s dedication to plastic-free environs.

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Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson is the editor of Accomnews. You can reach her at any time with questions or submissions: [email protected]

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