The Australian Standard for organic products says that natural products like water cannot be labeled “organic.” But what if that label is part of the brand or company name?
Australian brands, Organic Springs, Active Organic, and Organic Falls sell purified tap water under the Active Organic Spring name, though the water is not organic and is not sourced from a spring. Legitimate organic producers are annoyed at companies that use the term in their brand names, as it can mislead consumers. “Organic” is a term that is typically used to describe agricultural produce, and not natural substances like water or air.
The company, in its defense, states that it is not actually claiming that the water is organic, though the term is used in the brand name. Still – the word can be misleading to consumers, no matter the context. The bottled water industry caught on to the power of this kind of advertising long ago when they began marketing their product with pictures of glaciers, mountains and freshwater springs on the bottles. These days, many consumers will blindly purchase a product labeled “organic”, simply because the word has such a powerful, positive connotation, even if they don’t know what the term itself really means. And some products labeled “organic” are not any healthier or better-tasting than their non-organic versions.
What do you think? If given the choice between a bottle simply labeled “purified tap water” and a bottle labeled “purified tap water” with “organic” in the brand name, which would you be more likely to choose?