Nestle cuts investment in bottled water

Reuters is reporting today that, “Nestle is cutting investment in bottled water as it suffers from the economic downturn and environmental concerns, but will push the health benefits to help the business rebound, it said on Tuesday.”

NESTLE CUT CAPITAL EXPENDITURE ON ITS WATER BUSINESS BY $236 MILLION IN 2008, MORE CUTS PLANNED FOR 2009

"Chief Financial Officer Jim Singh told an investor roadshow webcast from London that Nestle had cut capital expenditure on its water business by 275 million Swiss francs ($236 million), or 26 percent, in 2008, and would trim further in 2009."

NESTLE WATER BUSINESS RECORDED FALLING SALES IN 2008

"Nestle, the world's biggest bottler of water with brands including Perrier and Poland Spring, said last week its water business was the only one to record falling sales in 2008, down 1.6 percent on an underlying basis to 9.6 billion francs. But Chief Executive Paul Bulcke said Nestle was not giving up on the business, noting that its Pure Life brand was still growing strongly and said the industry had to do more to improve its image and advertise the health benefits of water."

NESTLE EXPECTS GROWTH AGAIN IN WATER SALES

Nestle’s Paul Bulcke says, "I really believe this is a category that is going to grow because water is the best beverage around. We want to be a very healthy alternative to other beverages. Because of the intrinsic arguments for water we strongly believe this is a good category and it's going to have growth again in the years to come.”

COUNCIL OF CANADIANS UNBOTTLE IT CAMPAIGN

Reuters adds that, "Environmental groups have campaigned against bottled water, saying resources are wasted in bottling and transporting water which may be no safer or healthier than tap water, while selling for up to a thousand times the price."

To read more about the Council of Canadians ‘Unbottle It’ campaign, please go to http://www.canadians.org/water/issues/Unbottle_It/index.html.

The latest cities to join this trend against bottled water are the Corporation of Delta, British Columbia, http://www2.canada.com/surreynow/news/story.html?id=b3f62c5d-078b-4c85-808c-08745ed3f7e3, and Niagara Falls, Ontario, http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1447976. It should be noted that this week the Trustees with the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board also passed a new policy on bottled water, http://www.napaneeguide.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1447827.

To date, 26 municipalities in six provinces have now phased out the sale of bottled water, and 3 school boards in Ontario alone have done the same.

To read the full Reuters article, please go to The article can be read at http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssConsumerGoodsAndRetailNews/idUSLO40550020090224.