Water is the single most important substance to mankind: it makes up 70% of our bodies, we drink it in order to survive, and use it to nurture the crops we eat. Fresh water is becoming a scarce resource and some parts of the world are feeling the shortage more than others.
The wealthy are willing to spend incredible amounts of money for water that has been extracted from exotic locations and dressed up by luxury lifestyle brands that promise the ultimate healthy beverage. There are even enthusiasts that enjoy water tastings, pairing it with food and examining its complexities as if it were a fine wine.
Beverage companies make billions of dollars by rebranding this essential liquid and yet the water itself is actually one of the cheapest parts of the final product, usually costing only a few cents or less. After the cost of packaging, shipping, and marketing, companies are usually left with a healthy 30% profit margin, and the average markup of water when bottled is 4,000%. We spend at least 10,000 times more on the packaged stuff than we would if we were to drink it straight from the tap. These luxury brands are among the most lavish in the world with shocking profit margins to match.
10. Fiji – $3
Chances are you’ve seen or purchased this popular, tropical brand. It has caused controversy for it’s illusive but strong branding and market presence, as well as the impact on the local source in Fiji. The company even offers a subscription plan, so you can conveniently ship cases of untouched island water to your home and work. Starting at a relatively low price on the list, this company makes a strong $0.90 profit per bottle.
9. VOSS – $4
This sleek and iconic glass bottle is usually spotted at upscale restaurants and flashy nightclubs. The Norwegian water is branded to be simple, timeless, elegant, and for the most selective of consumers. Ironically, it’s not sourced from the Voss region, but is available for sale all around the world, making it a relatively accessible luxury. Enough people seem to think so at least, and VOSS makes about $1.20 per bottle.
8. Limited Edition Evian – $7
Do you ever find yourself at an elegant event, longing for a special water to really tie the whole evening together? Well you’re in luck, because Evian has partnered with famous artists throughout the years to bring you exclusive lines of water hailing from the French Alps just for your special occasions. For a profit of just $2.10 per bottle, you can drink from a perfume-influenced-water-bottle thought up by the likes of high fashion icons like Christian Lacroix and Diane von Furstenberg.
7. Tasmanian Rain – $10
This brand sets itself apart by offering water not out of a far-away spring or towering mountain, but right from the sky. They collect only the freshest rain from one of the most remote parts of the world and purify it into a smooth, stylish package. Their unique proposition is that the water hasn’t even ever touched the ground, making it the purest of the pure. At this price, the company enjoys $3 profit per bottle.
6. Aquadeco – $12
The award winning bottle design resembles a Hollywood award trophy and contains water pulled from mysterious but apparently pristine, ancient Canadian sources. The country is known for icy mountains and icy everything for that matter, so the stunning glacier is the perfect image to front the chiseled bottle. Perhaps you will keep the bottle after as a decoration on your shelf as a reminder that you just handed the company $3.60 for water.
5. 10 Thousand BC – $14
Another company based in the icy North, this one is named not for its ancient history but for its location on the West Coast. The water is gathered from river rapids that are said to take a three-day return trip to venture to. Made to look icy cold, the frosted wine bottle design fits in perfectly at the Sundance Film Festival and Toronto Fashion Week. The journey must be a great one, because the company pockets about $4.20 per bottle.
4. Veen – $23
Bold and sexy, Veen offers water from both Finnish Lapland and the Himalayas. With Velvet water, it’s no wonder they were voted the best water to have with wine by Fine Wine Magazine. I don’t know how you could cleanse your pallet with anything less! In case you were wondering, its rare balance is also used to brew tea by the most exclusive chefs from around the globe. You can cook with it too for a cool $6.90 profit per bottle.
3. Bling H2O – $40
Perhaps one of the shiniest on the list, Bling H20 is often seen in the hands of celebrities and socialites. Adorned with shiny crystals and seen in all the right places, it’s kind of like the Las Vegas of bottled water. With all that sparkle, it’s easy to forget about the water that’s sourced in the Tennessee Great Smokey Mountains. At the profit they earn of $12 per bottle, you can think of it as investing into a reusable accessory.
2. Fillico – $275
Not to be outdone by Bling H2O, Fillico features jewelry water and customizable pieces made with “Swarovski elements”. Bottles come in all different collections and colors, but each one shares their prominent, slender glass shape. This Japanese luxury brand features traditional wrapping options and other bottle accessories to make Fillico the ultimate high-end gift. If you are interested, you can check out their showroom or visit a local dealer. This brand earns about $82.50 per bottle.
1. Kona Deep – $400
In contrast to the flashy options on the list, Kona Deep positions itself as the supreme natural refreshment. Straight from the depths of the Hawaiian coast, the 1,000-year-old glacial water has travelled all through the global ocean conveyor belt to be enjoyed for a premium by health seekers around the world. They extract most of the salt, leaving a nutrient-rich, organic elixir. The company advertises their unlimited supply, which is great, because many are willing to fork over the $120 profit per bottle to enjoy this rare delight.