Challenges to Nestlé’s Bottled Water Strategy
Sept. 20, 2017
University of Arizona Law’s Robert Glennon provided insight to Huffington Post in an opinion piece about the challenges that Nestlé Waters North America is currently facing, stemming from their current marketing strategy and environmental concerns. Glennon is a Regents' Professor, the Morris K. Udall Professor of Law & Public Policy, and a national water policy expert.
Nestlé mostly sells spring water, as opposed to purified, sparkling, or mineral water. Their practices are drawing the attention of regulators in a case in Evart, Michigan, where Nestlé currently pumps 130 million gallons per year from a nearby well. The company has filed a permit fee seeking approval to increase its pumping by 60 percent, but claims the increase will not have “a significant impact” on the nearby spring.
“Nestlé’s assertion creates a catch-22 for itself," writes Glennon. "On the one hand, Nestlé is marketing 'spring' water to consumers. On the other, it is telling Michigan regulators that its pumping won’t 'significantly impact' the spring. But if it won’t impact the spring, then it’s not spring water under the FDA regulation. Nestlé can’t have it both ways. Either consumers are being sold something that isn’t spring water or the company is giving Michigan regulators incorrect information.”