Michelle Obama takes credit for more people drinking water

BY: Paul Bedard | July 23, 2014 | 4:12 pm

You can thank first lady Michelle Obama for those extra empty water bottles in the office recycle bin.

That's because she is getting -- and taking -- credit for a 3 percent surge in bottled water sales, all due to her “Drink Up” campaign aimed at getting Americans to shift from soda to plain water.

The International Bottled Water Association told us that the first lady cited the sales increase based on a new study from Nielsen Catalina Solutions. They said the campaign boosted sales 3 percent, and nearly $1 million.

“When the Drink Up campaign was launched last year, it had one simple goal – to get kids and families excited about drinking water,” the first lady said, according to an association release. “And today, less than a year later, we know that water sales jumped nearly three percent among people who saw Drink Up ads.”

And according to Nielsen:

Can an ad campaign influence consumers to buy more water? According to a new study by Nielsen Catalina Solutions (NCS), it can—but only if done right. The online ad campaign for the “Drink Up” effort—a collaboration between the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and First Lady Michelle Obama—for example, fueled a 3 percent lift in incremental sales of bottled water among those exposed to the online “Drink Up” campaign. This equates to almost $1 million in incremental retail sales of bottled water.

Their study found that the biggest sales of water were to younger, “impressionable consumers who seek convenience in their eating habits.”

IBWA President Joe Doss said, “Drinking safe, refreshing bottled water is one of the best and healthiest choices that nearly everyone can make every day, whether at home, at work, or on the go.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.
First lady Michelle Obama, a longtime supporter of healthier eating and physical fitness, is surrounded by children as she expands her push for America to drink more water, at a "Drink Up" event at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Obama launched the campaign with the Partnership for a Healthier America to encourage people to drink plain water more often. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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Paul Bedard

Washington Secrets