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Bottled water has become a pervasive global business, and bottled water consumption continues to increase rapidly, particularly in countries where clean potable tap water is available at very low or no cost. This article discusses the ways the rich cultural meanings of water are used in marketing and branding, and the forms of consumer resistance that oppose bottled water as a commodity. The contrast between tap water and bottled water can be seen as a reflection of a contest for authority and public trust between governments and corporations, in a context of heightened anxieties about risk and health. The article concludes that bottled water is a case where sound cultural logic leads to environmentally destructive behavior.
This article was published in Journal of Consumer Culture
and referenced in Journal of Hotel & Business Management