Fiji Water: What's Inside Lynda Resnick's Bottled Water Business?
Journalist Anna Lenzer recently published an in-depth piece investigating Fiji Water, the world's leading bottled water brand. Lenzer visited Fiji Water bottling plant but was interrogated by police for sending out emails that might hurt the water company.
Eventually, it dawned on me that his concern wasn't just with my potentially seditious emails; he was worried that my reporting would taint the Fiji Water brand. "Who do you work for, another water company? It would be good to come here and try to take away Fiji Water's business, wouldn't it?" Then he switched tacks and offered to protect me—from other Fijian officials, who he said would soon be after me—by letting me go so I could leave the country. I walked out into the muggy morning, hid in a stairwell, and called a Fijian friend. Within minutes, a US Embassy van was speeding toward me on the seawall.
Lenzer goes on exploring the rise of the expensive yet popular bottled water brand in detail. The company's co-owners Stewart and Lynda Resnick export Fiji's cleanest water with a huge profit. On the other hand, people of Fiji suffer from outbreaks of typhoid and parasitic infections because of poor water conditions. Lynda Resnick is extremely well connected, who bragged knowing "everyone in the world, every mogul, every movie star." Perhaps that's the reason how Fiji Water entered high profile conferences, on hands of politicians and celebrities.
Fiji Water's "green" campaign is a brilliant spin takes that away the doubt of many ecoconcious consumers. When the bottled water companies are attacked by environmental groups, Fiji Water's sales were relatively unaffected. On their website, Fiji Water vows to become carbon negative, save the rainforest, reduce packaging, help by recycling. It seems counter-intuitive that the act of ship water from thousands of miles away could still be environmentally friendly, but their brilliant marketing and PR wizardry makes everything seem perfectly logical.
Fiji Water's spokesman Rob Six immediately responded to Lenzer's piece. Lenzer responded with a rebuttal the next day.
What's the verdict? You decide.