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FIJI WATER AND CORPORATE SOCIAL

RESPONSIBILITY
GREEN MAKEOVER OR
“GREENWASHING”?
Issues :
 Accused of “water insanity”
 “Greenwashing” through marketing techniques
 Not so good relationship with Fiji government
 High taxes on products
 High transportation costs and carbon footprint
 Reduced profitability as a result of taxes

Fiji Water Company history:


 Early 90s by Canadian David Gilmour
 Founder of renowned Wakaya Island resort
 Bottle the water straight from the source
 Unpolluted, pristine location of the source  purest water
 Entailed higher costs of transportation
 Corporate HQ in Basalt, Colorado to handl the brand’s main market : the US
 Use of Fiji suppliers for bottles and packaging
 Imported bottle caps
 2000s : rising demand = new plant
 Bought in 2004 by Roll International -Stewart and Lynda Resnik-
 HQ moved to Los Angeles
 3rd bottling line  +1 million bottles a day
 2008 : Market expantions
 Local workers in the plant  good for local economy

Facts & Figures about the company and market


 90% of production exported  importance of global demand
 Shift of market towards “New Age” products since early 90s in terms of beverages
 Bottled water : fastest growing segment in the beverage industry
 By 2007: bottled water was the second largest beverage category
 US being the leading consumer
 Top 10 consuming nation account for 73% of the world’s water consumption of bottled water
 Emerging consumers: China and India

Conquering the American market


 First launch in California in 1997
 1998: sophisticated NYC Market
 Second selling position in the US after 5 years’ presence –amongst still water imported brands
 Number 1 in 2008
 Achievement: highly competitive market where leaders in soft drinks also launched their brands
 In the US market: exponential growth of per capital consumption of bottled water (x2 1997-
2007)
 Baby boom generation obsessively health conscious and fitness oriented
 Bottled water popular amongst young generations as well
 Bottled water considered not healthy but also fashionable, elegant and trendy
 In the US market: consumption of bottled water higher than any other beverage
 US consumers as a total spend more on bottled water than on ipods or movies tickets
 4 major companies dominating the market
o Nestlé –largest market share-
o Coca Cola
o PepsiCo
o Danone

Success of US launch = skillful marketing strategy


 Differentiation of Fiji brands in a crowded market –over 400 brands-
o Unique positioning
o Innovative packaging
o Premium product pricing
o Effective distribution
o Image creating publicity
o Celebrity status
THE PRODUCT, TO THE CUSTOMER
o Smooth pure taste no after taste
o Low mineralization
o Influential magazines placement
o Educating consumers
o High level of silica –believed to promote rejuvenation and anti-aging-
o Purity  no pollution
o “Mystique” surrounding the product

PACKAGING: One the fundamental ways to differenciate


 NOT the usual packaging: round, with paper labels
 The forst company in the industry’s history to use square bottles
 Creating a product signature
 Bright, three dimensional graphics  tropical origin
 Originally designed by a NYC-based advertising agency
 Gold border on label  image of quality
 Blue cap + blue waterfall and green-blue colors in the see-through labels
 Pink hibiscus
 Explanatory label such as “what ecosystem is your water from” for instance

Pricing & Distribution


 Premium pricing  Medium or low would have been impossible due to transportation costs
 Home market : use of Coca Cola Amatil for distribution
 US market: numerous distributors
o Wholesalers
o Retail chains
o Individual stores
o High end restaurants and hotels
o Online sales
o Mass merchandisers
o Convenience stores
o Drug stores
o Gas stations
 Affordable luxury strategy
How the distribution was put in place
 Originally: 3 major distribution centers
 Specialized distribution firms
 Then, exclusive distributorship agreement with Cadbury Schweppes
 Expansion of agreement to cover Canada

Building an image
 At the beginning: very little formal or paid advertising
 Printed ads in in-flight magazines
 Word-of-mouth
 Free product placement
 Targeted sampling
 Turned new customers into “brand evangelists”
 Targeting venue that resonated with brand image
 Celebrity endorsement
 Favorite bottled water in famous resaurants
 Celebrity chefs using the water as an ingredient
 2007: marketing campaign

In sum, the secret of FIJI Water’s success in the United States seemed to lie in its marketers’ ability to
elevate the world’s simplest drink to celebrity status. FIJI Water was much more than just pure,
goodtasting liquid. It was a promise of good health, refinement, status, and exclusivity. It evoked images
of unspoiled natural beauty and purity. It was a tropical paradise captured in a bottle !