Monday, August 19, 2019

Aqua The Pioneer of Bottled Water

Spectr News Theme Nadia Latief
05, November 2015

When dining in a restaurant and want to order mineral water, most people would unconsciously say Aqua although it’s uncertain if the restaurant serves Aqua as their mineral water. This happens because the name of Aqua is already on top of most people’s mind, so Aqua is considered as a general brand for mineral water. This brand is under PT Golden Mississipi company which is the pioneer of bottled water in Indonesia and was established in 1973 by Tirto Utomo as the founder.

At first, when Tirto worked at Pertamina, he had experience on receiving foreign guests at the company. Then, the guests once had diarrhea because they consumed unsterilized water. This what sparked the idea for Tirto to make a sterilized water in a bottle. After that, he and his siblings learned about the making of bottled water in Bangkok, Thailand, which already owned bottled water company named Polaris for 16 years. After they finished learning, they built the first bottled water in Indonesia named Puritas. But because it was difficult to pronounce, they changed the name to Aqua because they feel like it fits the image of mineral water and can be easily pronounced.

The first product of Aqua was 950 ml mineral water in a glass bottle and sold for only Rp75,- in 1974. That product was produced in Aqua’s first factory in Bekasi. The product then started to be accepted very well by people, and Aqua expanded its distribution to get close to the consumers by building its second factory in Pandaan, East Java. To have a safely consumed product, Aqua developed the next product with 220 ml PET bottle packaging in 1985. Because Aqua cares about the environment, they organize Aqua Cares program and has declared that Aqua’s plastic bottle uses a recyclable and reusable plastic material. At this time, you can find Aqua packaging from plastic cup (240 ml), PET bottle (330 ml, 600 ml, and 1500 ml), to returnable glass bottle (380 ml).

In 1998, a France multinational company, Danone, increased its ownership stake of Aqua up until 74%. This made Aqua kept improving its product quality until it now becomes the biggest bottled water brand in Indonesia. Because of its performance, Aqua had won many awards from Indonesian Best Brand Award. Now besides Aqua, there are also other products like Aqua Reflections, which is a result of cooperation with designer Sebastian Gunawan who designed the bottle with modern and elegant design without having to erase the Indonesian identity in Aqua. Also there is isotonic drink, Mizone, that has a benefit to restore your body freshness. Now, Aqua’s products are already sold in neighbor countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, and also Brunei Darussalam. Proud!

Nadia Latief
Nadia Latief