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Water Boy justifies the premium for safer drinking water

With too many water refilling stores competing in the market today, it is just logical that prices tend to drop. But Water Boy decides to keep its tag price per bottle at a premium. Find out why.
By James Humarang |

At P40 per 5-gallon bottled water, Water BoyTM could easily be dismissed as being more expensive than the rest. Interestingly, the water refilling market now sees standard water prices ranging from an average of P25 to P35. In some cases, some brands even sell the same size of bottled water for as low as P15.

Is competition the driving force dictating how refilled water should cost? Not for Richard Uy, president of Vesi Vann Corporation (Water BoyTM). He asserted, “Our water is not expensive. We are selling quality.”

Logically, with all the expenses of a typical water-refilling store, P35 per 5-gallon water would just be the break-even point for the business. That means that by lowering prices to make the store competitive, quality is inevitably compromised.

How to easily determine safety of bottled water

The experts share several ways to tell if drinking water sold by water-refilling stores is safe or not. Aside from judging the brand reputation, any consumer could do simple tests. First, touch the mouth of the water bottle (the inner side). If it feels slippery, it surely is teeming with bacteria.

Second, pure water is naturally tasteless in room temperature. Thus, when you drink water from a refilling station and it has a unique taste, don’t try to swallow it as doing so may cause serious stomach ache. Foul taste in drinking water indicates presence of high levels of bacteria. On the other hand, unlikely mineral taste may indicate improper and inadequate purification process. Continuous consumption of such substandard water may eventually lead to kidney problems.

The edge of Water BoyTM

“They are not our competition,” Uy reiterated referring to water-refilling stores in the market. He clarified that Water BoyTM is not a water-refilling station. Instead, he prefers the business to be classified as a water bottling company. That is because water containers are not refilled in any of its stores. Water in 5-gallon bottles are refilled only in the business’ headquarters in Bagumbayan, Quezon City and are delivered and stored in the stores.

This way, he assured that in terms of implementing the purification process, “We are doing it right.” There are other important factors that are unique to this brand. It is the only one in the market that adheres to CCQA (complete cycle quality assurance) standards.

Because water is refilled in one facility, the process is a fully automated system. There is even a full-time microbiologist working within the site to constantly test product safety. The containers are protected by exterior packaging. Lastly, patented one-time-use cap is used in each bottle, eliminating the possibility of reusing untidy cap and skipping the usual presence of floating white covers inside the water bottle.

Does pricing affect demand?

Water BoyTM is a living proof that many consumers are now ready to spend a premium just to make sure their drinking water is safe. Aside from the fact that more expensive bottled mineral water from other brands (in smaller bottles) are sold at higher price tags in groceries and convenience stores, Water BoyTM has proven that the P40 price tag of its 5-gallon bottled water can still be considered reasonable.

Just last year, it opened a store in Barangay Malanday in Marikina City, near Provident Village. By then, the Water BoyTM outlet was the 13th water store in the community, which incidentally could still be categorized as a low-income one.

Upon its entry, Water BoyTM has since become the more expensive brand sold in the area. Its competitors were not threatened. But after some time, to the surprise of many, more people were lining up at the Water BoyTM store despite its P40 per bottle pricing scheme. It turned out that most of the households in the village had bad experiences with the quality of water sold by the cheaper water refilling stations. Many families know for a fact that the little additional cost to their drinking water could be worth it as it could ensure their health.

In the end, Uy exclaimed in jest, “See the difference? Is their water still cheap?”


Are you ready to take Water Boy TM as a great franchising opportunity? Get in touch with Vesi Vann Corporation here .

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