Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Bottled Water Insider

Bottled Water Company in American Samoa Sold on Norland International
SLC Manufacturing in Pago Pago, American Samoa, has learned that Norland International provides all the expertise and equipment the company needs to operate a bottled water business efficiently and successfully.

The company entered the bottled water business in early 2007, after meeting with Norland representatives at the 2006 IBWA show in Las Vegas. Company leaders had been considering entering the bottled water business for about two years. What they learned at the show convinced them to proceed.

They quickly hired Agaese Robert Tago to head up the bottled water side of their business. An important factor in that decision, according to Tago, is the projection that bottled water would surpass soft drinks as the number one selling beverage by 2010.

“The two SLC board members who visited with Norland at the IBWA show were impressed by their equipment demonstration,” Tago says, “as well as the fact that even other exhibitors acknowledged Norland as the biggest name in water.”

Shortly after, SLC purchased a complete small-bottle production line, Norland’s SpectraPak™ 5000, pre-treatment equipment and a Freedom™ Series 3000 blow molder, that produces up to 3000 bottles per hour.

To this point, Tago said, virtually all bottled water in American Samoa has had to be imported. Given the islands’ isolation in the South Pacific, costs for bottled water are high. By producing bottled water in the islands, the company figured there would be strong demand for a more affordable bottled water product.

The company currently is producing 500 ml bottles, but “we’ll be moving into 1.0 and 1.5 L take-home pack sizes,” Tago says.

Shipping costs to American Samoa continue to rise exponentially with rising fuel costs, Tago says. That means the company has had to pay a premium to ship PET bottles to its bottling facility. It makes sense, then that the company has looked for ways around that crippling cost. With Norland’s newly installed Freedom Series 4500 blow molders, SLC has found that way, says Tago, by making its own bottles on site.

“We estimate a savings of close to 33% by making our own bottles,” Tago says. “That is mainly attributed to the savings in shipping costs.”

“Norland has been a great help by being a one-stop shop for all the equipment we need, as well as continued technical support and service. Given our isolation and the difficulties of shipping in parts if equipment goes down, it’s very important for us to be dealing with one manufacturer. It simplifies things immensely.”

“In addition,” Tago says, “Norland has shown extensive knowledge in determining our needs upfront and then installing, running and maintaining our equipment. We were pleased with their detailed training, as well. They had our staff perform complete production runs while they observed.”

Also contributing to his company’s confidence in Norland, Tago says, is that “the company manufactures its own equipment, which gives them a wide range of technical knowledge completely in-house,” he said. “Because they make their own equipment they are flexible and open to new ideas or options that a customer wants to pursue.”

Tago appreciates that Norland’s equipment combines the best technology with simplicity.
“You need the latest technology and sophistication, but at the same time you need equipment that withstands normal wear and tear and is still easy to maintain. Norland has achieved this.”

As for the future, Tago looks to Norland for continued advice and support.

“They have pledged to help us grow by keeping us informed of any new technology or ideas that may arise in the bottled water market,” he says. “This includes putting us in contact with experts in such emerging areas as biodegradable corn-based performs, and adding flavored and mineral-added water experts.”

As to the future, Tago says, “we look forward to continued success with Norland’s help.”

Norland’s Success Guide for the Bottled Water Business Now Available
for Instant Download
We mentioned our Success Guide a couple of newsletters ago. This volume is a step-by-step guide to getting started on the right foot in the bottled water business. Now, we’re pleased to announce that an online version of the Guide is available for immediate download. Click here to order the Guide, either as an instant download or as a 3-ring bound book. With the downloaded version, you save money.

ABA and IBWA Combine Their 2008 Tradeshows
For those of you who may be planning your 2008 schedules, a heads-up: The American Beverage Association (ABA) and the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) have announced they are combining their two tradeshows for 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Dates are October 20-22. Click here for more details: