Pepsi Debuts Designer Bottled Water “Qua” at the Golden Globes

"Micro-filtered" tap waters in stylish bottles have surged in popularity over the years.

Photo: AP/Pepsi

Photo: AP/Pepsi

PepsiCo, the world’s No. 2 beverage company, passed out bottles of its premium bottled water at last night’s Golden Globes. Qua (short for “Aqua”) was passed out on the red carpet and placed on tables at the show, as a way for the company to introduce the high-end filtered tap water “to the Hollywood types who appeal to its target audience,” reports AP.

As with Coca-Cola’s Smartwater, Qua is made with tap water. PepsiCo says Qua is “micro-filtered” and free of sodium, and it’s slated to be tested regionally in California this summer before hitting other markets.

Designer bottled waters—which are, essentially, filtered tap water in stylish bottles—have surged in popularity over the years. They represent an important opportunity for Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, brands that are struggling to sell more soda. Since hitting a peak in 1998, U.S. soda consumption has been on a downward trend, and declines have accelerated in recent years, reports AP.

Only thing is, there’s already a Qua premium bottled water. Qua Natural Mineral Water, produced by Danone Narang Beverages, is the No.1 premium natural mineral water in India. According to the brand’s Facebook page, “QUA is a natural and pristine mineral water from the Himalayan foothills. It emerges from the majestic Himalayas after 20 years of natural filtration.” Might be a little tricky for Pepsi to roll out Qua to international markets.

[via AP]

 

  • Anony Mus

    QUA – Genuinely intrigued on your business model categorically when a consumer intends to connect with you.

    As a corporate customer of QUA, I have been trying to reach out to the business for regular replenishment of the consumables and I have hit the Wall.
    Some of your strategic initiatives towards increased customer loyalty are
    non-existent or does it mean the company is not concerned.

    We have been engaged with Denone Narang for the 4-5 years for our regular supply of brand QUA. About 10 of our international team members currently residing in India appreciate QUA and since the last many years we were served by one of your dealers in Noida. Your Mumbai team connected us to the dealer then citing that your distribution was not ready. Now there has been a change of distributorship without informing who would service us now, we are since then trying to get in touch without any success.

    The web presence of QUA is non-existent. A malfunctioning website which does not have any customer touch points or for that matter no “contact us” information. A further inquisitive search about the brand led me to the Group website http://www.naranggroup.com . To my surprise there was a number listed there to call ending 508. Apparently since then I have called multiple times spanning days and different time of the day to hear the magical words “Narang Group… how may I direct your call?”. I never heard that voice. Maybe I am naïve and need to understand other methods of connecting, an email, web enquiry and other touch points which again for QUA are too old fashioned and hence they all are disabled on your website. Seems you have a unique CRM strategy designed by the Ivy League strategists amongst your rank. Which translates into… “You will be served at our discretion”.

    I personally used LinkedIn to connect with your National Sales Manager and Regional Sales Manager and wrote them an email too, I have not received a reply yet.

    Inquisitively, we thought of delving deeper into this perceived abyss, I tried to get in touch with the distributers of QUA and BLUE searching and scouting via various means in NCR. Your distributors do not honor any pre arrangement that we had from the yesteryears, wanting to sell at a price of their convenience and refused to deliver it. When I stroke a conversation they found my situation so common and dismissive and this did not affect them as people like “us” somehow find them for them to charge a premium. Curiously, they have never seen QUA, BLUE representatives too.

    Also, I wonder what role DANONE plays in the entity. Danone as a company has several brands of international repute and I am not sure how high the stakes here are for them. Hopefully they would observe more caution on repute.

    It seems like Denone Narang Group has found the “elixir” to fuel business growth. Hence the dismissive sentiment of Consumer Apathy does seem the perfect strategy. Not to mention that it gives me a feeling whether the business entity does exist? Other providers like Himalaya and Bisleri Vedica are serious in their approach and of course are reachable.

    We would like to understand if there is some ownership here from Denone Narang group and let us know what course of action needs to be observed.

    Perturbed

    A Corporate Customer

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