Bag in Box Water spotted in Cape Town
One of our owners is currently taking a working sabbatical in Cape Town for the year and in between office hours has been exploring the local tastes, flavours and aromas of a brand new country.
While out over the weekend at a working farm in Kommetjie a bag in box water dispenser was spotted at a till point for the customers to refill bottles as they go. Many retailers in Cape Town still have traditional bottled water coolers in their shops and this was actually the first time we have seen bag in box water. The first commercial bag-in-box system was developed in 1955 by William R. Scholle for the safe transportation and dispensing of battery acid, and it has since been used across many liquids for retail and industry.
You can still see the lower end of the wine market in the UK using bag in box for the quality ladies who need to prepare for a big night out with an astounding level of Chardonnay.
Bag in Box has been developed for the UK bottled water cooler market as an alternative. Pioneered by an Irish company led by the charismatic Kieran McKenna of Aqueduct the bag in box system was seen as an alternative to the traditional 19 litre bottles of water that have dominated the market for over thirty years. It has been taken up by operators like mains-fed and vending companies who sometimes need to supply bottled water to clients but don’t have the delivery infrastructure.
The bag in box water carriers are easily dispatched on pallets or by courier to clients who cannot always have a mains-fed system in place. Currently prices are significantly higher that the traditional 19 litre bottled water market and therefore it has yet to make it into the mass market.
The bag in box will certainly have its niche within water over time but I guess it is whether the suppliers to the market have the time or the deep pockets to wait this out. The formerly mentionned Kieran has we understand been very successful in areas outside the UK where the water business is not so well established or habitual. For traditional retailers like Ocado and Waitrose the system is perfect for ease of storage, in contrast to their traditional 5 litre bottle of spring water which are harder to stack and deliver to customers.