To the People

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Yes, Aquafina Is From A Public Source... So??

This has been getting major coverage on CNNj (Japan) this evening. Aquafina is going to start putting "PWS", for public water source" on bottle labels. They seem to be reporting it like some kind of life-saving public service announcement, interviewing people who basically say they feel cheated.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I can't understand why this is such big news.

First, I haven't heard any evidence that Pepsi was actually hiding this information. It just wasn't widely known. Was it a common assumption that the stuff was harvested from an arctic glacier and shipped on a tanker to a bottling facility? If so, is it Pepsi's fault that no one bothered to look into it?

The common complaint seems to be along the lines of "Well if it's just filtered tap water, why does it cost so much?" Well, it's because people will pay it! If it's such an unknown fact that prices in a free market are set by supply and demand rather than cost of production, then this reflects very poorly on education. Really, this is like the "2 + 2" of economics.

Finally, bottled water always has cost about the same as soda. And what's so special about soda? It's basically just corn syrup and coloring added to water. I don't have any industry figures here, but I can't imagine that recipe could cost more than a penny or two per can.

Slow news day?

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