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Case Title:

US Bottled Water Industry Faces a New Frontier – Special Interest Groups

Publication Year :  2010

Authors: Jayesh Patel, Joel Sarosh Thadamalla

Industry: Beverage Manufacture and Bottling

Region: US

Case Code: MM0061

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Available


The US bottled water industry became the fastest growing segment in the US beverage market, with volume of 8.25 billion gallons in 2006 with demand expected to rise further. The growing demand for bottled water led companies to use innovative marketing strategies to attract customers. The prospects that the market offered also fueled increase in production of bottled water, which started to have a negative impact on the environment. Special Interest Groups (SIGs) felt that production of bottled water led to increase in the consumption of natural resources and also an increase in solid waste in the environment. The industry was also criticised for using unethical marketing practices to increase their sales. The case details the competitive scenario and the challenges faced by the industry. It ends on the debate of whether activists would be able to make the general public aware of the drawbacks of using bottled water. It also discusses whether they would be able to influence companies to rethink their strategy and alter their operations to make them more environment friendly.

Pedagogical Objective:

  • To analyse the structure of the US beverages market
  • To understand the factors driving demand for bottled water
  • To understand the impact of SIGs on a business
  • To analyse the challenges faced by the US bottled water industry
  • To understand the future of the US bottled water industry in view of the opposition from SIGs.

Keywords : Corporate Social Responsibility Case Study, Bottled Water Industry, Special Interest Groups, Industry Dynamics, Industry Structure, Impact of Environmental Issues on the Industry, Global Warming, Nestle’, Coke, Pepsi, Cost Drivers, Corporate Social Responsibility


  • Bottled Water Industry in the US
  • Industry and Cost to Society – 'Consequences'
  • Self-Regulation – Visible Solution for Betterment?

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