Posted in ENVIRONMENT, RESEARCH

Bottled Water versus Tap Water: Understanding Consumers’ Preferences

bottledvstapBottled water consumption has become increasingly popular over the past decade, even in places where there is an excellent quality of tap water. Due to this increasing demand for bottled water, it has become one of the fastest growing industries for non-alcoholic beverages, which represents a market worth of $22B.

There are many factors that dictate why people decide on a more expensive option of drinking bottled water than simply consuming what’s available in their households, and that is what we are going to discuss in this article. Why do more and more people decide to pay for bottled water that is almost 10,000 times more expensive than tap water? Read on.

What Studies Have to Say?

bottle tapAccording to consumer surveys, there are two main factors which affect consumers’ preference for drinking water. First is the people’s dissatisfaction of tap water’s organoleptics, particularly the taste. Water characteristics such as the taste, odor and appearance appear to be the most relevant consideration why people choose bottled water over tap water.

In many cases, many consumers think that because bottled water tastes better than simple tap water, it is a sign of better quality and safer option for drinking water. However, due to this belief, mass consumption of bottled water contributes to a multitude of environmental problems which include water wastage, climate change and pollution.

risk to healthSecond is the health concerns related to the risks of drinking tap water. In a survey conducted in the US, approximately half of bottled water drinkers believe that there are a lot of health risks associated with drinking tap water and this is the major reason why they choose drinking bottled water over tap water.

However, besides these two main factors which dictate consumers’ choice for drinking water, several factors can also be considered such as different demographic variables and people’s perception of the quality of their tap water source.

This result is not surprising especially in areas or communities that have problems with the safety of their tap water sources. However, many highly developed areas have increased the quality and safety of their tap water throughout the years and most have become potable water sources.

Public water systems especially in the United Stated, are generally safe for consumption as these ones are run and maintained by different municipalities. Before it is released from treatment plants to our drinking faucets, tap water meets specific safety standards to avoid causing health problems to its consumers. Top kitchen faucet models can be found Faucet Mag.

It’s true that there are many instances that drinking tap water has caused many water borne diseases like diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever and worm infections. But it appears like many people have likely remembered these instances than those unfortunate events where some bottled water companies recalled their products because of chemical contaminations like benzene and increased bromate levels.

what do you knowThe presence of these harmful chemicals can lead to serious and detrimental health problems like cancer or even death if not detected early. Water is an important part of our daily lives, and without it, we will not survive. Having this said, it is very important to consume water that’s considered safe for the entire public, but drinking bottled water can’t be the only solution to this.

In addition, media plays a very significant role in this, with them linking drinking bottled water to healthy regimens like proper diet and exercise. But this may not always be the case. There are no clinical evidences to show that bottled water is better than tap water. In fact, some studies link drinking bottled water as the cause for children to miss or reduce their daily intake of fluoride, especially in areas where tap water systems have undergone fluoridation.

tap bottledOverall, both bottled water and tap water provide benefits and disadvantages, and there are varied reasons why people opt for bottled water or tap water as their source for drinking water. Although water’s organoleptic and health-related concerns are the most common reasons for bottled water consumption, there are other influences that affect people’s choice for drinking water such as their financial capacity, location and general beliefs.

And the main conclusion here is that people will always value what they think is ‘good quality water’ and that they are always prepared to pay out some extra cash in order to consume what they believe is ‘better’, ‘purer’ and ‘healthier’ product.