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The Declining Demand for Bottled Water in the United States

Choose a consumer product or service that is on the market today, but is declining in appeal to
consumers. This product should be marked for obsolesces.
Write a five to six (5-6) page paper in which you:
1. Discuss this product or service in terms of its current target market demographics using U.S.
Census Data.
2. Determine why you believe the product or service is declining in popularity. Be sure to include
information on social, demographic, and ethnic markets; economic and technological factors;
political and legal factors; and competitive factors.
3. Make three (3) recommendations for possible action marketers of the product or service you
selected could take to address the products declining appeal to consumers.
4. Determine the best foreign country in which to market this product or service. Support your
response with information from the CIA world factbook.
5. Discuss your product segmentation and positioning ideas for this product or service in its debut in
the new country
            The market demand for bottled water in the United States is rapidly declining after several years of constant growth. The United States constitutes the greatest consumer for bottled water, but the market demand is projected to grow by 6.7% in the year 2013 (Worldwatch Institute, 2013). Data released in March 2013 by the Beverage Marketing Corporation indicates that this is the smallest growth in demand experienced in this decade. Demand for bottled water continues to expand in global popularity; however, several restaurants, schools, natural food stores and municipalities in the United States have decided to consume tap water instead of packaged products. Bottled water marketers are striving to find out the contributing factors to this trend and institute appropriate mechanisms to regain the initial market share.
Manufacturers pack bottled water in transparent plastic bottles. This water is used in schools, homes, restaurants and municipalities. The cost of bottled water varies between $500 and $1,000 per cubic meter in the United States (Worldwatch Institute, 2013). The demanders for this water include young, middle aged and the old aged people. Consumers hold a belief that these packaged products are cleaner, safer and more convenient than tap water. The estimated consumption of bottled water in the United States is 27.6 gallons per person (Worldwatch Institute, 2013). Marketers target 100% of the United States population since water is a basic need for survival.
Reasons for Declining Demand for Bottled Water
            The economic status of consumers influences the demand decisions for bottled water. The price of tap water is $0.50 per cubic meter as compared to bottled water that ranges between $500 to 1,000 for the same quantity (Worldwatch Institute, 2013). This limits most of the United States residents from purchasing this product. The prior perceptions that the quality of ground and surface water represent risks encourage the financially stable citizens to purchase bottled water as a primary drinking source. Some studies, however, contradicts this as they reveal that the minority groups spend 1% of their income on bottled water as compared to stable citizens who spend only 0.4% of their income on this product (Gleick, 2011). The reason for this could be higher marginal propensities to save and invest that characterize the financially stable citizens than the minorities. The general trend for consumption of bottled water reveals that financially stable citizens buy bottled water because they can afford while the minorities are scared away due to unaffordable prices.
The age and gender constituting the market share determines the number of consumers for bottled water. Young and females are more likely to drink bottled water than the aged and the males. Young people are susceptible to advertising and marketing promotions, which are the primary selling strategies used by the bottled water companies. This proportion of the population spends most of its time watching televisions programs and reading newspapers. The population of young people in the United States has decreased considerably over years. The high probability of female drinking bottled water is consistent with the previous study findings on gender differences on health risks associated with health and food (Gleick, 2011). The educated population of female spends less time on television due to commitments to work and family matters. The number of women watching television programs and reading newspapers has decreased, thus reducing people who access bottled water advertisements.
Ethnic and regional backgrounds of consumers affect the consumption of bottled water. A research carried out in the year 2011 revealed that the residents of Midwest and West mountain areas are less likely to use bottled water either for purposes of primary drinking or special occasions (Gleick, 2011). Residents of the southern pacific and the south constitute e the greatest consumers of bottled water. The Latino and Black parents are three times more likely to buy their children bottled water compared to white parents. The reason for this is that minority communities believe that bottled water is superior, and thus a necessary expense (Gleick, 2011). This suggests that place specific factors influences the decisions for bottled water consumption.
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