Co-op to target ethical shoppers with charity-linked water brand

High street food retailer the Co-op is ditching its range of own-label mineral waters and launching a new ethical range to tap into growing consumer demand for such products. It claims to be the first UK supermarket to launch an ethical water brand.

The retailer will donate between 5p and 20p from each bottle of Fairbourne Springs to the One Foundation, the charitable organisation that helps to develop water-pumping systems overseas.

The Co-op is hoping the repositioning of the brand will help it take market share away from other ethical water brands, such as Thirsty Planet, as well as from established brands such as Evian and Volvic.

The revamp will include new packaging and labelling, which will be supported by an in-store promotion on tills and its bespoke radio service.

The One Foundation was launched in July 2005, coinciding with Live8. One, the foundation’s own bottled water, is sold in Tesco, Waitrose and Morrisons as well as the Co-op. A 500ml bottle of One retails for about 45p, around the same price as many mainstream brands.

All of the profits from One go to PlayPumps Internationals, a group that buys pumps in Africa that also double as merry-go-rounds for children.

The One Foundation is the charitable arm of Global Ethics, a not-for-profit organisation that distributes the water brand and One condoms. Earlier this, year, it launched a mobile campaign to raise awareness of its work and boost donations to its projects in Africa.

Customers with certain Nokia and Sony Ericsson phones can take a photo of a smart code printed on the label of One water, which then takes them automatically to the brand’s WAP site.

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