Monday, September 24, 2007

If you’re thinking about starting up a bottled water business, you might want to check out the story of Blue Valley Water Company in Hartshorne, Oklahoma.

Located about 90 miles south of Tulsa, Blue Valley Water was founded by Warren Lindley, a successful businessman who owned grocery stores in the Hartshorne area, who had decided to get into the bottled water business. Initially, he planned to concentrate on producing small bottles for a private label business. His search for an equipment source led him to started looking around for an equipment source. His internet research led him to Norland International.

“I was impressed by Norland’s product line, which seemed to include the type of equipment I needed to get started,” Lindley said. “They understood the water business, and they knew that start-up businesses in small towns didn’t need the large equipment that other companies were offering.”

As he was getting ready to buy his Norland line, a regional distributor based in Tulsa approached him about providing bottled water for his established business. The opportunity was too good for Lindley to pass up.

After consulting with Norland engineers, Lindley first bought a Norland SpectraPak 5000, which produces up to 5000 small bottles per hour. Later, he added a residential and office delivery operation, for which he purchased a Norland TritonLine™ large-bottle plant that could handle 450 large bottles an hour.

Lindley offers three key pieces of advice to entrepreneurs who may be looking at starting up a bottled water business.

1. Start slowly. Buy only equipment you need when you need it. It’s not a good idea to invest in equipment before your market is ready. Be prepared, by talking to your equipment supplier, and plan for what you may need when the time is right. But don’t commit dollars until you have to.
2. Look for opportunities to expand your business. Know the choices that will be available to you when the timing is right. When you discover the opportunities, be ready to act quickly to take advantage of the situation before someone else does.
3. Find a dependable equipment manufacture to partner with. “It’s best to find a single source for your equipment,” Lindley says. “That way you know the equipment is compatible, you are familiar with the company’s level of after-sale support and service, and you can build a partnership with them based on trust.” I found the right supplier, one that was experienced in the bottled water industry, that could provide expert advise on my business development, not just my equipment.”

For a more detailed article on Blue Valley Water Company and how it got started, click on, then click on the “Blue Valley Water” PDF.

Bottled Water Considered “Most Healthy,” Survey Says.
A recent Harris Interactive® survey found that 58% of consumers consider bottled water their top choice as the bottled beverage they most associate with living a healthy lifestyle. According to news released by the International Bottled Water Association, those surveyed were asked, “Which one bottled beverage do you associate most with living a healthy lifestyle?" Over 3,200 consumers were surveyed.

The results:

* Bottled water (58 percent)
* Milk (22 percent)
* None of these (6 percent)
* Bottled fruit beverages (5 percent)
* Sports or energy drinks (3 percent)
* Other (3 percent)
* Bottled tea (2 percent)
* Carbonated soft drinks (2 percent)
* Bottled coffee (less than 1 percent)

For the full story, click on

Visit Us At the Shows
If you’re going to Las Vegas, Nevada for the IBWA Show or Pack Expo, be sure to stop by the Norland International booth (S-5633) and say hello. We’ll be showing a Freedom™ small bottle blow molder, a BF150 large bottle filler, and the SpectraPak™ 3000 small-bottle plant. The two shows will be running concurrently right next door to each other. Pack Expo is at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and IBWA is at the Hilton Hotel next door.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Norland International’s Expertise Saves Customer Big Money
It pays to have a close relationship with your bottled water equipment supplier. You get to know us. We get to know you.

And that means we can help you spot areas in your business that can be made more efficient, cost-effective, and profitable.

For Healing Waters LLC, Dillon, Montana, the company’s relationship with Norland International, its bottled water equipment supplier, has paid off in significant cost savings in bottle acquisition. David Hegsted is the president of the company, which markets its bottled water under the Montaqua™ brand name.

“Now he’s saving at a rate of 9 cents per bottle,” says Bruce Kucera, Norland’s Vice President-sales. “Figured over 3 to 5 million bottles a year, that’s a significant cost savings.”

During routine customer follow-up, Norland International learned that the company was spending a lot of money to purchase and ship vendor-supplied empty bottles. Healing Waters produces from 3 million to 5 million bottles a year.

Bruce suggested to Healing Waters’ president David Hegsted that the company consider manufacturing its own bottles on site. Norland International could provide the perfect blow molder line, the Freedom™ Series, to fit his company’s business requirements, Bruce informed him.

This way, he’d save the cost of shipping empty bottles, save plant space by better inventory control (they make their bottles when they need them) and avoid the occasional delivery problems from vendors.

“We approached him with the idea and set up a special rental program for him,” Kucera says. “He liked the idea and purchased a Freedom™ 1500 blow molder.” The Model 1500 produces up to 1500 bottles an hour.

Norland International custom-designed the molds that make Healing Waters’ bottles unique to its market. The company bottles water in 16.9 oz, 20 oz and 1 liter sizes. Hegsted now controls his inventory, conserves floor space, and avoids problems that crop up from time to time on delivery from vendors.

Add to those benefits that 9 cents a bottle savings, and Healing Waters LLC has improved its bottom line significantly, thanks to Norland International.

Norland International Client Featured in Beverage World Magazine
Lincoln, Nebraska–Beverage World, a leading trade publication serving the beverage industry worldwide, features in its March 15, 2007 issue Crystal Mountain Natural Spring Water, a Norland International client located in Huntsville, Alabama.

The article provides “an excellent case history from which new start-up bottling companies, as well as established companies, can learn much about this industry and how to operate a successful and profitable bottled water company,” says Bruce Kucera, vice president sales and marketing for Norland International. “Terry Roberts and his company have done an excellent job in the 5-gallon market niche, and have expanded into the small-bottle processing and packaging business.”

Norland International worked with Crystal Mountain to develop a customized plant design, utilizing the company’s SpectraPak™ 5000 bottle-per-hour small-bottle plant and the automatic ShrinkPak™ to package these single-serve products. Crystal Mountain has also added Norland’s automatic RackStacker™ to improve operational efficiency for their large-bottle (3- to 5-gallon) market. Norland International continues to provide Crystal Mountain with equipment upgrades and technical support.

To read this article, click here.

(Link courtesy of Beverage World.)

Italians Consume Most Bottled Water Per Capita
Ever wonder who consumes the most bottled water around the world?

Well, based on per capita consumption, Italians drink the most bottled water per year, based on the most recently available statistics (2006), followed by the United
Arab Emirates and Mexico. The complete Top Ten countries measured by bottled water consumption per person:

1. Italy 53.6 gal.
2. United Arab Emirates 51.9 gal.
3. Mexico 50.5 gal.
4. France 39.3 gal.
5. Belgium-Luxembourg 38.3 gal.
6. Germany 34.1 gal.
7. Spain 33.3 gal.
8. Lebanon 31.3 gal.
9. Switzerland 29.0 gal.
10. United States 27.6 gal.

Source: Bottled Water Reporter, April/May 2007 issue, citing Beverage Marketing Corporation figures. Bottled Water Reporter is the official publication of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA).

Did You Know?
You can get ideas for the design of your bottling plant by taking a free look at several designs on the Norland International web site? Many of our customers ask Norland to provide plant designs for their operations. We have a number of generic layouts you can view free on our web site. Our engineers also design custom layouts to meet the unique requirements our customers may have. Check them out here