Coca cola storm in a tap-water cup

Coke's Dasani launch in the uk isn't going well. As soon as the Sun and other tabloids knew that the "super pure" Dasani bottled water is purified British tap water they ridiculed the drink, the Sun labelled it "the real sting", it was also reported in the Herald and the Scotsman. Coke has now hired Lexis PR to start a recovery strategy before Dasani goes down the drain.

image from this article : Pissin' in the great outdoors for fun and profit.

AnonymousCoward's picture
Dabitch's picture

In Sweden Danasi is called Bonaqua, probably the hardest water around with lots of calcium and magnesium, but also (and this is bad) 250 mg natrium, higher levels than any other bottled water in Sweden. It's called "table water" in Sweden (Bordsvatten) which shant be confused with "Källvatten" (Mineral water), as bordsvatten is regular water with added minerals and bubbles.

yaksox's picture

This made me shudder when I read it. From what I've heard, the UK's got one of the worst underground water tables in the world - a relatively large population on a small island -- and the nasties are gradually starting to concentrate in the water. Antibiotics, plus the indgredients of contraceptives and asprin are all starting to show up in significant parts-per-million in normal UK tap water.

The other problem is that the processes used to purify water leave it in a pretty 'dead' state.

AnonymousCoward's picture

Actually, here in New York, people don't seem to care if its spring water or not. Fact is spring water is the same water that one gets out of a well (as we do on Long Island). The ground water from the water table is forced out due to pressure, usually from incoming rain water from the other side. So really, spring water is the same water people get from the tap (well water, for those who get well water as opposed to reservoir water), except with less regulation and checks as water companies usually have.
I still buy the stuff though...the bottles are so damn convenient! Especially Dasani's I must say...

Dabitch's picture

The Guardian reports:

First, Coca-Cola's new brand of "pure" bottled water, Dasani, was revealed earlier this month to be tap water taken from the mains. Then it emerged that what the firm described as its "highly sophisticated purification process", based on Nasa spacecraft technology, was in fact reverse osmosis used in many modest domestic water purification units.
Yesterday, just when executives in charge of a £7m marketing push for the product must have felt it could get no worse, it did precisely that.
The entire UK supply of Dasani was pulled off the shelves because it has been contaminated with bromate, a cancer-causing chemical.
So now the full scale of Coke's PR disaster is clear. It goes something like this: take Thames Water from the tap in your factory in Sidcup, Kent; put it through a purification process, call it "pure" and give it a mark-up from 0.03p to 95p per half litre; in the process, add a batch of calcium chloride, containing bromide, for "taste profile"; then pump ozone through it, oxidising the bromide - which is not a problem - into bromate - which is. Finally, dispatch to the shops bottles of water containing up to twice the legal limit for bromate (10 micrograms per litre).
AnonymousCoward's picture

Did we not always know that this was tap water. Here in Canada, most folks thought something was amiss when the waters' label was without anything words like "spring", typically associated with "non tap" bottled water. As well, is Aquafina the exact same garbage from the folks at Pepsi?

Dabitch's picture

Over here in Europe it's a little different - Mineral waters don't carry the word "spring" for one thing, rather words like "pure" or something like that in whatever language (Källvatten in Swedish = Mineral water), and the Dasani sold in France is actually real Mineral water, since the french wouldn't fall for that old cleaned up tapwater idea, Coke marketing figured. (Way to be brand consistent guys!)

It's only in the UK and Scandinavia that Dasani and Bonaqua are "purified tapwaters", you're right that Aquafina is the Pepsi version of botted tapwater. I find it rather odd to have one brand (Dasani) which is tapwater in the UK and real Mineralwater a two-hour ride away in France. (See Time mag)
Does Coke think that Europeans don't travel?
If Coke = brown sweet carbonated drink everywhere on the planet, why should Dasani = tapwater in some places, and Mineral Water in others? Also, you Canadians are clever, ;) I don't know many people who reflected over the lack of "spring" on the bottle...

yaksox's picture

Crikey. Leaving comments like my previous one always makes me feel overly extreme, but this update changes things a bit eh. Y'know I wouldn't be surprised if it was Coke who were the first to put (useless) flouride in softdrinks too.

I actually picked up a small bottle of 'Ty nant' still mineral water (bottled in Wales) from a local reject supermarket the other day. Didn't taste very "minerally" - more like tap water.

Strikes me that the design of the bottle (and of course the ad campaign!) are extremely important to the success of these kind of products. There's one brand here whose TV ads seem to be angled exclusively at hangover victims.

deeped's picture

Here in Borlänge the water from the tap is good, clean and no need for still water on bottle :)

caffeinegoddess's picture

Aquafina and Dasani in the US also do the tap water thing as mentioned in this older article.

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