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Managing in Troubled Times Case Study

Case Title:

Poland Spring: Managing in Troubled Times

Publication Year : 2004

Authors: Jignesh Zanora, Sumit Kumar Chaudhuri

Industry: Beverages


Case Code: TRT0014

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Since 1845, Poland Spring had been marketing its bottled water as the original spring water from 'the protected and pristine sources of Maine' in the US. After being acquired by Nestle Waters North America Inc.(NWNA) in 1992, Poland Spring continued to contribute significantly to NWNA's revenues in North America despite facing controversies regarding the authenticity of its spring water. Class action lawsuits were filed against it in 2002 based on allegations that Poland Spring had been deceiving its customers by marketing its bottled water as spring water, when the original spring, from where the company claimed to tap its water, had dried up 35 years ago.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To enable readers to understand how the company, with its long-standing history, is battling its way through the allegations.

Keywords : Nestle; Spring water; Maine; USA; Nestle Waters North America Incorporated (NWNA); Beverages; Managing in Troubled Times Case Study; Poland Spring; Mineral water; Borehole; Ricker family; Food and Drug Administration; Major players in the US bottled water industry; Jan Schlichtmann; Natural catchment; Bottlers


  • Poland spring – a brief overview
  • The controversy
  • Implications

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