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|Manufacturer||The Coca-Cola Company|
|Country of origin||United States|
Dasani (//) is a brand of bottled water from the Coca-Cola company, launched in 2002, after the success of Aquafina (produced by Coca-Cola-rival PepsiCo). It is one of many brands of Coca-Cola bottled water sold around the world. The product is filtered tap water bottled from local sources with added trace minerals.
Coca-Cola uses tap water from local municipal water supplies, filters it using the process of reverse osmosis, and adds trace amounts of minerals, including magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt), potassium chloride and table salt (sodium chloride).
Coca-Cola announced they would be distributing Dasani water in new packaging made of 30% plant based materials. Unlike other plant-based packaging, the bottles are compatible with standard recycling plants and represent up to a 25% reduction in carbon emissions when compared to standard water bottles, though this still represents 2000 times the energy usage of tap water.
There are five common Dasani bottle sizes sold in Canada: 355 mL, 500mL, 591 mL, 710 mL, 1 L, and 1.5 L. Bottles are sold individually and in packs of 6, 12, and 24.
The first source of Dasani water in Canada was Calgary, Alberta. A second bottling plant was later opened in Brampton, Ontario. The Calgary and Brampton plants produce Coca-Cola's plain-water (Dasani) and sugar-water (soft drinks) products. The company's administrative and marketing activities continue to be based in Atlanta, Georgia.
In early 2005, two flavored versions of Dasani were introduced: Dasani With Lemon and Dasani With Raspberry. Dasani with Strawberry has since been introduced. The flavored beverages are sweetened with sucralose.
Dasani was introduced to the Brazilian market in mid-2003, renamed as Aquarius. It was introduced to the Chilean market in 2005, including releases in regular, lemon and tangerine flavours. It was released in Colombia in late 2005 with their three regular flavors. In 2005, Dasani was introduced in the Argentinian market with the flavours peach, lemon, citrus and regular. It was also released under the name Ciel Dasani in Mexico in four flavors: lemon-cucumber, papaya-carrot, grapefruit and mandarin-green tea, but it was discontinued in 2006. It was also released in Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and Honduras.
Dasani was launched in the UK on 10 February 2004. The product launch was labelled “a disaster”, a “fiasco”, and a “PR catastrophe”. Early advertisements referred to Dasani as "bottled spunk" or featured the tagline "can't live without spunk". These slogans were used seemingly oblivious to the fact that spunk is slang for semen in the UK.
Prior to the launch, an article in The Grocer trade magazine had mentioned that the source of the Dasani brand water was in fact treated tap water from Sidcup, a suburban town on the outskirts of Greater London. By early March 2004, the mainstream press had picked up the story  and it became widely reported that Sidcup tap water, after being processed by reverse osmosis, had been remineralized, bottled and sold under the Dasani brand name in the UK. Although Coca-Cola never implied that the water was being sourced from a spring or other natural source, they marketed it as being especially "pure". This led the Food Standards Agency to request Hillingdon trading standards officers to launch an investigation into whether the claim was accurate.
Richard May, Chief Publicity Officer of Dasani, was said to be disappointed that the water had not been more successful.
The media made mocking parallels with a 1992 episode of the well-known BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses, in which protagonist Del Boy attempts to pass off local tap water as bottled "Peckham Spring". Del's scheme fails when he pollutes the local reservoir, causing the bottled water to glow yellow.
On 18 March 2004, UK authorities found a concentration of bromate, a suspected human carcinogen, in the product that could be considered harmful if consumed in large quantities. Coca-Cola immediately recalled half a million bottles and pulled the "Dasani" brand from the UK market. Shortly after, plans to introduce the brand to Continental Europe were announced to have been cancelled as well. Bromate was not present in the water before Coca-Cola's treatment process. During that process the bromate was produced from the water’s bromide by exposure to ozone.
Coca-Cola intended to launch Dasani in France and Germany, although this never went ahead after bad publicity in the United Kingdom.
In line with the 2012 Summer Olympics and being the official drink sponsor, Coca-Cola decided not to reintroduce the Dasani brand to the UK market, and purchased the Morpeth, Northumberland-based Abbey Well bottler in 2008, branded under the Schweppes brand name (which Coca-Cola holds the UK rights to) to provide a locally-sourced water brand for the event. To meet Olympic branding regulations, Abbey Well water was labeled as "Still Water" for on-camera appearances during the Games.
Republic of Ireland
In Ireland, it is marketed as Deep River Rock.
References and footnotes
- "Soft drink is purified tap water". BBC News. 1 March 2004.
- "Can The PlantBottle Save The Bottled Water Industry?". Fast Company. 2004-03-19.
- "Coca-Cola pulls Dasani launch in Europe". CBC News. 2004-03-24.
- Bill Garrett (2004-06-16). "Coke's water bomb". BBC News Online. Retrieved 2008-06-21.
- Michael McCarthy (2004-03-20). "Pure? Coke's attempt to sell tap water backfires in cancer scare". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2008-06-21.
- Ashlee Vance (2004-03-19). "Coke's spunky water pulled from UK market". The Register.
- Lester Haines (2004-03-11). "Introducing Dasani – the water with added, er, protein". The Register.
- Matthew Beard (2004-03-02). "The real thing? Coke's water comes straight from the tap with a cool mark-up of 3,000 per cent". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2008-06-21.
- Matthew Beard (2004-03-03). "Inquiry into Coke's tap water". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2008-06-21.
- "Coke recalls controversial water". BBC. 2004-03-19.
- "New logo: Schweppes Abbey Well". The Branding Source. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- Dasani website for U.S. residents
- "Coke Announces Dasani Water". Beverage Digest. February 1999.
- Coca-cola, Kellogg’s, Mattel and Takeda Pharmaceuticals top the list of international brands guilty of abusing consumer rights., an October 2007 article from Consumers International
- What's in that bottle?, a January 2003 article from Consumer Reports
- Is America's $8 Billion Bottled Water Industry a Fraud?, a December 2003 article by E/The Environmental Magazine
- Things get worse with Coke, an explanatory article from The Guardian newspaper.
- "Tap water wears a bow tie when it's put in a bottle and sold" News article about Dasani bottling plant operating during a drought