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The Wrong Way to Start a Bottled Water Company

"I want to start a bottled water company!" "I have this great idea." It's a question we hear consistently and have since we started back in 2003. We get calls emails and chats all the time about people asking how low can I get the price if I buy X amount of custom bottled water pallets.

If this sounds like your plan let me save you a ton of time. Stop, you aren't going to start a bottled water company. Even if we were going to hit your price target, whatever that may be.

Starting a bottled water company requires among other things:

  • A huge amount of capital
  • A production space and storage space for the bottled water
  • Distribution channels
  • Sales channels
  • Retail and wholesale agreements
  • A Business License
  • Inventory and accounting software
  • A whole bunch of other stuff you need to research


Chances are you are sitting in your home or office and you have none of those things. What would you do if you actually purchased 20 pallets of your branded bottled water from us. Where is the semi going to offload those pallets when it shows up? Do you have storage space? A loading dock and forklift? Do you want your driveway to look like this?

why you don't need pallets of bottled water

My point is before you go requesting quotes for thousands or tens of thousands of bottles do some more research as to where you are going to sell these bottles. Remember you are competing with Nestle, Poland Springs, Aquafina, Costco and other huge corporations who have all the infrastructure in place to store and sell their branded water bottles in stores.

You Don't Need To Order Pallets Of Custom Bottled Water

If you are still convinced you are going to be the next Deer Park or Arrowhead then try ordering a couple cases of custom bottled water from us. Use them as prototypes to get your product in front of those who might be interested in selling for you. It will also allow you to see your label on an actual bottle and get feedback before you print pallet after pallet of your own personalized bottled water.

We offer three sizes of bottles that can be bought by the case so if you are in the planning stages of starting your bottled water company you have the flexibility to order a small amount of product before you commit to having a truckload show up at your house and filling up your garage and driveway with pallets of bottled water you more than likely won't be able to sell.

While the pricing is higher for a smaller amount of cases you need to keep in mind that when starting a business you need to start small. You aren't instantly going to negotiate the per bottle cost down to pennies. Again, even if you did you most likely don't have space to store truckloads of water nor the money to pay for the product because we require prepayment for large orders regardless of if you are a company or individual who we have never done business with before.

start a bottled water company

While you do have the creative freedom to make a label on your bottled water that is anything you like remember people will not buy your bottled water because of the super awesome design on the label. It's a commodity and the lowest price wins. So while your label design might be extremely creative and 100% unique if it's sitting on the shelf next to Aquafina and the Aquafina is 50 cents less than your bottle guess what bottle they will choose.

Sorry if I have crushed any dreams but we get this question so often that I had to address it. It's great that you are motivated and have ideas but be practical in your approach. You wouldn't start a car dealership by calling up Toyota and asking for the best price you could get on 100 Camrys. Start small, build the foundation of your business and work up to the full truckload orders of bottled water.


Categories: Top 10 Questions