LETTER TO THE EDITOR: NO LOYALTY TO WATER BRANDS

I have been a broker in the water category for the past 20 years. Your article ["Supermarkets Pay the Price for Water's Popularity," SN, July 4, 2005] is exactly on the mark.sales to [direct-store-delivery] vendors who will build displays for them. Others (and who could blame them) take the money/offer from the brand managers who are trying to buy market share under the misguided assumption that the

I have been a broker in the water category for the past 20 years. Your article ["Supermarkets Pay the Price for Water's Popularity," SN, July 4, 2005] is exactly on the mark.

sales to [direct-store-delivery] vendors who will build displays for them. Others (and who could blame them) take the money/offer from the brand managers who are trying to buy market share under the misguided assumption that the consumer will be won over and come back.

Ironically, there is minimal brand loyalty, so the business goes to the lowest-priced product and/or to the free labor. The biggest short-term casualty may be the retailers' private label, but it should come back after the price cutting is over and the "brand managers" realize that the bulk of their products offers no perceived value or difference to consumers.

Robert T. Daniels

President, P.M.C.,

Harrisburg, Pa.