Competitive Crystal Geyser Pricing

In the past years, you know all about economies of scale. So these companies are not only marketing better, they're doing business better. By that I mean, focusing on profits, pricing extremely competitively. Crystal Geyser water delivery got their delivery systems in place and their distribution networks are getting stronger. There are other more    obvious factors at work as well, according to the consultant. Convenience-size packaging, is more and more important, as are seemingly mundane elements like the new push-pull sports caps which he is convinced add a touch of "excitement" to still water.
Great brand here
Speaking of excitement, Hall is quite revved up about the top import, Evian. "It's a phenomenal brand," says Hall of the crystal geyser of Great Brands of Europe. "They've done everything right in this age of private label. Evian is the premiere example of how to continue generating brand excitement so people don't trade down for cheaper brands."

A great deal of the action that Hall thinks surrounds the brand is related to the promotional efforts GBE has executed, whether the linking of Evian water with wellness or its affiliation with the World Wild life Fund. "They've just worked harder to be an identifiable brand," he says. "Even if another brand retails for a dime less than Evian, it is more vulnerable to private label. Private label keeps getting its act together."

Indeed, Hall contends the same private label bug that has bitten soft drinks in 2008 is digging its relentless little choppers into contained aqua. "While 1-gallon is still the most popular size for private label," he says, "there are other sizes." One example he cites is the Giant supermarket chain selling 1.5-liter spring water for 69 cents under its own label. Warns Hall, "You've got to sell pretty hard to beat that kind of pricing." And the Evians of the business notwithstanding, there's been a lot of trading down."

Hall is also sanguine about another Euro-owned outfit, Perrier Group of America, new proprietor of Deer Park. The recent spate of regional marketing campaigns on behalf of Poland Springs, Calistoga, and Zephyrhills, as well as the new Perrier commercials, tells Hall that Nestle's influence has been to "focus" PGA on brand management. "In the    early days," Hall says, "the Perrier brand sold itself."

Hall is willing to predict the entire category will grow every year for the rest of the century. How much is another matter.  "The two reasons," he says, "are the competition will be greater and the prices lower. Plus, new beverages are going to keep coming--new    package and new products. The key will be the ability to get your products on the shelf quickly."


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