15 Product Promotion

15 Product Promotion


The town of Soultzmatt
is in the east of France close to the borders
with Germany and Switzerland. Local people first discovered a source,
or spring in the thirteenth century. In the seventeenth
century, the local government
of the Alsace region allowed companies to exploit the springs
in the area and sell the water. However, by French law, the companies
have to allow local people to use the spring water
and to fill from the spring. Effectively the spring water
belongs to the local people. Sources de Soultzmatt is the company
which runs the spring for the town. It employs
33 people and produces an average of
100,000 bottles of water every year. The company has managed to stay
profitable in a very competitive market, dominated by enormous European
brands like Perrier, Evian and Nestlé. The market for bottled water
has grown very quickly. Between 1990 and 2005
consumption of bottled water grew
by over 400%, rising to an estimated two hundred
billion bottles of water per year. The source or spring itself is about
half a kilometre from the bottling plant and goes deep
under the ground. The water comes up
at a steady speed and goes by pipe down
to the plant in the town below. The bottling plant does not run every day,
but it produces bottles for transportation across France and
into Switzerland and Germany. The company concentrates
on niche markets, selling into the local area
and into local supermarkets. Les Sources de Soultzmatt now
produces many different types of water for various different
types of customer. Since the 1920s it has produced
a brand of water called Lisbeth. It is named after one of the director’s
daughters, and it sells to supermarkets. Although the town of Soultzmatt
has produced mineral water since 1853, the company has only
recently expanded production into flavoured
waters and colas. Sources de Soultzmatt now sells these
new lines in supermarkets across France. One of their bestselling brands
is their cola brand, Elsass Cola. There are also other lines of lemonade
and tonic water for mixing with drinks. These sell into hotels
and restaurants. In a huge industry,
the small town of Soultzmatt and its source remain profitable and
provide employment in the local area. Subtitles by the Amara.org community

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