All Fiji Water Comes From This One Source

According to the CIA's World Factbook, Fiji's largest domestic export is bottled water. An article by New University at the University of California in Irvine reports that mineral water added more than $100 million to the country's economy. Still, the water business has brought some dissent. After investigating local's perception of the industry, one researcher at the University of Montana concluded, "The Fijian government and Fijian citizens may eventually be forced to choose between the short-term economic gains brought from the bottled water industry and the long-term environmental destruction and changes to their traditional ways of working and living." Fast Company has also pointed to the tension of a modern factory churning out bottles of water in a country in which many citizens don't have access to drinking water. 

Per NPR, FIJI Water is owned by a California couple who purchased the enterprise in 2004 (they also own flower delivery service Teleflora and beverage company POM Wonderful). FIJI Water has a strong hold in the American market compared to other bottled water companies, netting $150 million in annual sales out of an industry worth $15 billion (via World Atlas). In a 2007 article, Fast Company reported that the most common question U.S. employees receive is, "Does it really come from Fiji?"

Water sourced with controversy

According to FIJI Water, 100% of their water is sourced from the island of Viti Levu in Fiji's Yaqara Valley. The water is labeled artesian, which means it comes from an underground chamber of rock known as an aquifer, a natural reserve protected from elements requiring a well or borehole to retrieve (via Globe Water). In a series of videos highlighting the process of collecting the water, the company promises, "It's not just water. It's Fiji water," insinuating that this hidden water is different.

FIJI Water enlisted award-winning composer Hans Zimmer to write music for the campaign to best illustrate the journey of the water from cloud to natural aquifer. According to one videorain filters through hundreds of feet of volcanic rock before it is collected, bottled, and sold. Yet even with these aspirational videos, the company has been blasted. Vox, for example, insists such marketing campaigns are calculated — much like the brand representative who strategically posed behind red carpet stars in 2019, encouraging hydration among Hollywood's elite.