We went to a lot of different businesses to see if this was true. Is bottled water actually more expensive than soda? From our findings, we found out that this information has some truth to it. Bottled water is pretty expensive.
We came up with three different reasons why this could be the case, but from those three reasons, there is really only one answer that seemed to be the real reason why. Here, we will dive into what our findings were.
We went to restaurants, convenience stores, home construction stores, grocery stores, and a locally well known company in town that sold nothing but water. There were some similarities in the pricing, but also some differences.
Why is bottled water more expensive than soda?
Bottled water was found to be more expensive than soda, because of the process of which it took to create, package, and ship the bottled water to another business that sells it. The equipment used and the procedures required to make the finished product, was more than the steps it took to manufacture most soda.
There is a lot going on behind the curtains when bottled water is made. Most people would assume that companies are just buying a piece of land that has water, then purifying it and selling it in a bottle. However, from a close look at the process, some bottled water companies have heavy machineries that take the water through many processes before it is finally bottled and shipped.
These massive pieces of equipment act as a massive water filter when they are all placed together.
Multiple tests are also done with the water to ensure that the water was good before it was shipped.
Usually when heavy expensive machines are involved, better results will happen, but prices will go up. This heavy equipment has to be paid for, including fixing and replacing them when they break down. Equipment unfortunately doesn’t last forever.
Another reason would be that they are just raising the price just because individuals were willing to pay for it. However, after visiting all of the places that we came across to check their prices, we found that this was less likely to be the case. There were so many brands of bottled water, which meant more competition.
The amount of competition didn’t justify why a company selling a certain brand water that wasn’t selling as well as another from another company, would continue to keep their prices the same; since lowering the prices of that brand for more profit would be more viable for beating their competition (assuming that it was really cheap for them to produce).
This means that the way they were manufacturing their water had to be the real reason. Businesses do have to actually make a profit in order to keep themselves from going out of business, even if they are a bottled water company.
There is also the risk of supply and demand for water from current events. Bottled water isn’t necessarily a necessity for most individuals. This means that they could end up losing some of the access they have to water in certain regions. This could cause a company to sell parts of their company or go out of business.
Soda on the other hand, isn’t held to the high standards of bottled water. Most of the time in most places only a few well known brands of soda for that type of soda dominates the market. Even though some individuals are concerned about the water in their soda, most individuals don’t think to ask.
This leaves more leniency for soda, since most individuals already recognize at an early age that soda isn’t the best thing for them. Because of this, soda isn’t expected to be the healthiest thing going into your body. Most individuals already know that before they drink it. Bottled water on the other hand, is expected to be this way (better than tap water/healthier) more than soda.
Bottled water is also one of the highest selling drinks in America, sometimes profiting in more than soda. Since it is so well known, and everyone knows what tap water already is, it is held to an incredibly higher standard by the consumers.
Many individuals don’t just want purified water, they want the best water possible. In order for a company selling bottled water to meet these demands, more expensive equipment and work has to go into making the water better. It inevitably leads to higher prices.
Companies that aren’t using the best equipment and putting a lot of work into making their products better, do not have to worry about raising or lowering their prices as much. Their investment is cheap and their profit is either reasonable or good enough.
The Price Of Soda Vs Bottled Water In Stores
Convenience Stores Prices
For our discovery we found that bottled water at convenience stores in our location was actually cheaper per ounce than soda. This was from comparing all bottled waters sold in the store to all soda beverages sold in the store. None of the prices for bottled water were more expensive per ounce than any of the soda beverages.
However, the convenience store had the highest priced bottled water and bottled soda, which could have effected why. The prices were about 20% higher.
Restaurant Stores Prices
We visited different restaurants and found their bottled water per ounces to be slightly cheaper (10 to 20 cents cheaper) than bottled sodas of the same size. However, buying fountain drink sodas instead of the bottled sodas were significantly cheaper per ounce than bottled water.
A 32 ounce fountain drink could be purchased for nearly the same price as a 20 ounce of bottled water. Of course, the water in restaraunts that isn’t bottled can be obtained for free or for less than a quarter. Many people don’t know that a lot of restaraunts serve filtered water from their dispensers. This is a better choice than bottled water if you just don’t want to drink tap water.
Grocery Store Prices
Grocery stores had the largest difference in price for bottled water vs bottled sodas. Only a few of the bottled water brands were found to be cheaper per ounce than most of the soda brands. The soda overall had the cheapest prices.
Some of the generic soda brands in comparison were only a fourth of the price per ounce to the most expensive bottled water brands per ounce. It was also difficult to find bottled water that was equal in price per ounce to soda, unless the water came in a gallon sized jug.
The highest quality bottled water brands were found at the grocery store, which had the highest prices.
Local Water Store That Only Sells Distilled Water
The bottled water that was found here was the best in terms of pricing versus soda bottles prices per ounce. The prices for the water per ounce were about half the prices of other bottled waters found in other places.
They also produced their own distilled water right in the store, just like restaurants and convenience stores that made soda from the fountain drink dispensers in house that was generally cheaper than bottled soda.
If you are looking for cleaner water and don’t mind the lack of minerals in distilled water compared to other bottled waters, then try to find a store that sells water like this in your area.
When the water company was asked why their water was so significantly cheaper, they were thrilled to point this fact out and began to tell us that it was because they made it in house.
Random Stores That Sold Bottled Soda And Water
The bottled water was found to be slightly cheaper than the bottled soda for the same size in stores that sold inedible goods, but still sold soft drinks and bottled water in small commercial refrigerators.
This meant that the shipping of the bottled water was most likely an indicator to why the bottled water was more expensive than soda when made from manufacturers.