Why Is Your Bottled Water Delivery Service So Expensive?

Posted on August 15, 2013
A stack of plastic water bottles

Last Updated: 8/6/2020

Bottled water is the No. 1 beverage in the United States, according to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC). A 2018 study found that bottled water sales totaled $18.5 billion that year, which was an increase of 8.8% from the previous year. [1] More recently, in 2020, US sales of bottled water spiked by 52.2%, as consumers faced lockdown measures. People sheltering in place due to the coronavirus pandemic cleared the shelves of single-use bottles to ensure they could safely hydrate themselves during the quarantine.[2]

The reason so many people choose bottled water delivery over tap water is because it’s perceived as a clean and convenient hydrating solution. However, there are several reasons why the preferable choice is not bottled water for many, including the cost.

To find out exactly why bottled water delivery is so expensive and if it is really worth the price, we turned to The Atlantic and Business Insider.

Why is the Price of Bottled Water so High?

The Atlantic states that the price of half of a liter of bottled water costs the same as a day’s worth of cooking, washing, showering, and toilet flushing. Shockingly, bottled water is between 240 and 10,000 times more expensive than tap water. Comparatively, if a family paid bottled water prices for tap water, their monthly water bill would be close to $9,000.

All the aspects that go into the price of bottled water delivery: the production of the bottle, the cost of supplying and filtering the water that goes into the bottle, the transportation costs of shipping and delivering the bottle, and the cost of marketing the final product. “It costs a lot of money to stand out in a crowded marketplace – especially when you are selling one of the most common things on earth,” said The Atlantic reporter, Derek Thompson.[3]

Is Bottled Water Worth the Hefty Price Tag?

It is no secret that bottled water comes with a large price tag, but what many find surprising is the fact that bottled water is not worth nearly as much as the industry is generating. Erin Brodwin and Aylin Woodward, two writers for Business Insider, describe the price of bottled water as one of the biggest scams of the century.[4]

Brodwin and Woodward explain that many people, especially in America and other first world countries, have plenty of access to clean drinking water. They say that in a lot of cases, publicly sourced tap water might actually be safer than bottled water because of the microplastic particles found in bottled water. And even after all this, Americans still spend over $15 billion dollars on bottled water each year.[5]

How Much is Your Bottled Water Delivery Service Costing Your Business?

We crunched the numbers to calculate exactly how much an average business spends on bottled water delivery services every year, and the final sum is steep. According to a Quench study, a bottled water delivery service that serves 50 people costs over $4,200 a year on average, and a 5 gallon water delivery service that serves the same amount of people costs over $3,400 a year. You could spend a fraction of that by switching to a Quench bottleless water cooler. 

Save Money with a Quench Bottleless Water Cooler!

A single Quench bottleless water cooler that serves a company of 50 employees costs around $700 a year. These tremendous savings are possible because a Quench bottleless water cooler, also known as a point-of-use (POU) water cooler, connects directly to your building’s existing water line and offers unlimited filtered water straight from the municipal water supply. Therefore, our bottleless water coolers may also be referred to as filtered water dispensers.

Adding more bottleless water coolers in your workplace in place of single-use plastic bottles an/or 5 gallon water delivery lowers your company’s overall expenses, reduces your carbon footprint, and decreases physical touchpoints in your office. Plus, if you take advantage of Quench’s touchless water cooler options, you can eliminate water-based touchpoints altogether. So, stop spending extra money on bottled water delivery and start drinking water that’s cleaner, crisper, more economical, eco-friendlier, and safer to drink from a Quench filtered water dispenser.

Want to learn more about Quench and our filtered water dispensers? Click here! Can’t wait to get started? Click on the green “Get a Free Quote” button and we will have one of our Quench Water Experts contact you. Or give us a call at 1-888-877-0561!

Watch the first video from Economics in Plain English, a video series launched by The Atlantic which focuses on readers frequently asked economic inquiries, answering the age-old question, “Why is bottled water so expensive?”

For more details on how the price of bottled water is determined, check out our webinar: Draining Your Budget: The Real Cost of Delivered Drinking Water.


[1] https://www.bevindustry.com/articles/91268-2018-state-of-the-beverage-industry-bottled-water-remains-the-no-1-beverage-in-the-united-states

[2] https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200428005490/en/Bottled-Beverages-Grow-153-COVID-19-Consumers-Home

[3] https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/278580/why-is-bottled-water-so-expensive/

[4] https://www.businessinsider.com/bottled-water-facts-science-healthy-2017-4

[5] https://www.ewg.org/research/ewgs-water-week/toxic-tuesday-purity-not-guaranteed

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