The bottled water wars are heating up: The Bottled Water Sales Association of Beijing "published a notice yesterday saying that Nongfu Spring water was not only in violation of national standards but also guilty of false advertising and misleading customers," according to the Shanghai Daily.
Industry observers note that these allegations are likely spurred by Beijing-based regional competitors of the Zhejiang-based company, but Nongfu has hardly done itself any PR favors by thus far not responding to the claims.
This is not the first time the ubiquitous bottled water producer has faced allegations of bad quality control – back in 2011 customers complained of bottles contaminated with worm eggs, which the company denied was their fault and was subsequently able avoid any lasting PR damage.
But this latest round of bad press, combined with recent press reports of outdated quality control standards for the domestic bottled water industry in general, could do lasting damage to what is arguably Beijing’s most popular brand.
These water woes spell bad news for local families, but good news for Beijing’s under-the-sink water purifier distributors. My family gave up on drinking bottled water a while back and installed an under-the-sink purifier (you can check this post for BeijingKids’ correspondent Christopher Lay’s experience with Aquasana) and news like this reaffirms that we made the right choice. If you have any experiences with other brands or any additional insights, please feel free to share below.