Oldest Water Bottle Company

Oldest Water Bottle Company

We literally cannot live without water, right? But we also need clean and drinkable water. So, we’ve been using water bottles for forever. But where did it all begin? When did the water get commercialized? Some of the oldest and most well-known water bottle companies have been in operation for hundreds of years.

So, here are some of the oldest water bottle companies in the world.

9. Sanpellegrino (1899)

Year Established: 1899
Location: San Pellegrino Terme, Bergamo, Italy
Still Operational: Yes

Sanpellegrino (1899)Photo Source: Hearstapps

Sanpellegrino was founded in 1899 in San Pellegrino Terme, Bergamo, Italy. The water bottle company was originally established as “Società Anonima Delle Terme di S. Pellegrino.” Later, on  April 20, 1970, the company was renamed Sanpellegrino S.p.A.

Sanpellegrino’s mineral water is sourced from a rock layer that is 400 meters below the surface in the Dolomites. Sanpellegrino has production sites across Italy, with headquarters in Milan. More than 1,850 people work for Sanpellegrino S.p.A today. 

Sanpellegrino was acquired by  Perrier Vittel SA, a division of Nestlé, in 1997. The company is still owned by Nestlé Global. 

Did you know?

In 1949, Sanpellegrino’s 50th anniversary was celebrated by launching a range of sparkling fruit flavors, including iconic drinks like Chinotto and Limonata.

8. Gerolsteiner (1888)

Year Established: 1888
Location: Gerolstein, Eifel mountains, Germany
Still Operational: Yes

Gerolsteiner (1888)Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

The German mineral water company Gerolsteiner Brunnen GmbH & Co. KG (Gerolsteiner) was founded in 1888. This water bottle company is located in Gerolstein in the Eifel mountains. Known for the Gerolsteiner Sprudel brand, they specialize in bottled, naturally carbonated mineral water.

In 1888, the mine manager Wilhelm Castendyck founded Gerolsteiner Sprudel as a Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (GmbH) in Gerolstein. In the same year, the first well was drilled. The water from it became popular due to its high natural carbonic acid content. 

Their star-and-lion symbol of Gerolsteiner was trademarked in 1889. By 1895, Gerolsteiner water was being exported to Australia. It was also supplied to Buckingham Palace during Queen Victoria’s reign. Later, in 1890, they began exports to Chicago, United States. They were interrupted during World War I and then resumed in 1928.

Gerolsteiner continues producing naturally carbonated mineral water through the Gerolsteiner Sprudel brand. 

Did you know?

The Gerolsteiner factory was destroyed during a bombing raid in Christmas of 1944 and was later rebuilt by the year 1948.

7. Fiji Water (1876)

Year Established: 1996 (brand acquired in 2004)
Location: Viti Levu, Fiji (headquartered in Los Angeles, California)
Still Operational: Yes

Fiji Water (1876)Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

The famous and one of the oldest water bottle companies, Fiji Water, was founded in 1996 by Canadian businessman David Gilmour. The company is now headquartered in Los Angeles, California. The water comes from an artesian aquifer in Viti Levu, Fiji.  Fiji Water offers various bottle sizes, including 330 ml, 500 ml, 700 ml, 1 litre, and 1.5 litres.

They had a couple of ownership and distribution changes over the years. In 2004, Fiji Water was acquired for approx US$50 million by Stewart and Lynda Resnick’s Roll Global (now The Wonderful Company) from Gilmour. In 2009, Fiji Water reported $85 million in sales.

Later, Fiji Water acquired Justin Vineyards & Winery, expanding its brand to include California-style Bordeaux and Syrah wines in 2010. 

Fiji Water uses the slogan “Earth’s finest water.”  However, in 2006, an advertisement comparing Fiji Water to Cleveland tap water caused controversy, with claims of arsenic content in Fiji Water. On top of that, they have also faced much criticism, including environmental issues that their production causes. 

Did you know?

In December 2010, Fiji Water’s Fiji plant had 400 employees, and the company established a foundation to provide water filters to rural Fiji communities.

6. Mountain Valley Spring Water (1871)

Year Established: 1871
Location: Hot Springs, Arkansas, United States
Still Operational: Yes

Mountain Valley Spring Water (1871)Photo Source: imgix

Mountain Valley Spring Water is one of the oldest water bottle companies in the United States. It has been bottled continuously since 1871. The water comes from a protected spring just west of Highway 7 North, around twelve miles from downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas. The company was founded by pharmacist Peter E. Greene and his brother John Greene. 

After noticing the major growth of their enterprise, mountain Valley Spring was officially formed in 1883. Initially located in Hot Springs, the company’s headquarters were later moved to Paramus, New Jersey, in 1966. The company went through many ownerships and is currently owned by Primo Water. 

Mountain Valley is recognized as America’s most-awarded spring water. They have won 19 honors from the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting since 1991. Mountain Valley Spring Water has served as the official water in the White House since presidents such as Calvin Coolidge to Bill Clinton and even today. 

Did you know? 

Mountain Valley has been featured in episodes of television shows like Parks and Recreation and Happily Divorced.

5. Perrier (1863)

Year Established: 1863
Location: Vergèze, Gard, France
Still Operational: Yes

Perrier (1863)Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

Perrier was created in 1863 in Vergèze, Gard, France. In  1898, Les Bouillens, a Roman-era spa, was bought by Louis Perrier to commercialize the venture as a wellness destination. But he also bottled and sold its mineral water because of its potential. 

Later, in 1901, Perrier was acquired by St John Harmsworth. Perrier is known for its green bottles and is marketed as the “Champagne of mineral water.” In 1990, benzene, a carcinogen, was found in several bottles of Perrier. This led to a withdrawal of 160 million bottles across the world.

In 1992, Nestlé acquired Perrier, making it a part of  Nestlé Waters France. In 2004, Nestlé announced a restructuring plan for Perrier. However, it was stopped in 2005 due to a lack of consultation with the staff.

Perrier is still produced by Nestlé Waters. Today, Perrier is distributed in 140 countries and sells around 1 billion bottles annually.

Did you know?

Perrier is available in teardrop-shaped glass bottles (750 ml, 330 ml, 200 ml) and cans (330 ml), with a PET format introduced in 2001.

4. Vittel (1854)

Year Established: 1854
Location: Vittel, France
Still Operational: Yes

Vittel (1854)Photo Source: gstatic

Vittel is a French brand of bottled water established in 1854 when  Louis Bouloumié, a lawyer, purchased the meadow with Vittel’s water source. Vittel’s water is sourced from the “Great Spring” in Vittel, France, and is classified as still water. The Vittel Spring has a history dating back to 69 AD when it was used as a Gallo-Roman spa.

In 1869, Louis Bouloumié handed over to his sons Pierre and Ambroise, which led to the later expansions. Vittel introduced glass bottles in 1898 and changed to plastic bottles in 1968 for in-flight meals. Vittel gained international recognition in 1903 when declared “of public interest” by the French Academy of Medicine.

Since 1992, Vittel is owned by the Swiss company Nestlé.  In 2001, Vittel partnered with the Tour de France, distributing nearly a million bottles at the event each year.

Did you know?

Vittel has diversified its product range over the years. They introduced  PET bottles in 1994, a sports cap in 1998, and launched Vittel® & Organic Infused Fruits (2018) and Vittel® Up (2019).

3. Apollinaris (1852)

Year Established: 1852
Location: Bad Neuenahr, Germany
Still Operational: Yes

Apollinaris (1852)Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

Apollinaris was founded in 1852 in Bad Neuenahr, Germany. Georg Kreuzberg discovered this water bottle company by chance in his vineyard. The water of Apollinaris is taken from a rocky source located 50 feet (15 meters) below the surface in Bad Neuenahr, Germany. Apollinaris was named after a patron saint of wine, St Apollinaris of Ravenna. 

In 2006, the company was acquired by Coca-Cola from Cadbury-Schweppes. Apollinaris had popular supporters who endorsed the company, including Otto von Bismarck and Guillaume Apollinaire. 

Apollinaris trademark symbol was their red triangle symbol and slogan, “The Queen of Table Waters.” They had massive growth and produced 40 million bottles a year by 1913, 90% exported worldwide.  Apollinaris is now owned by Coca-Cola and produces sparkling mineral water.

Did you know?

From the mid-1930s to 1945, Apollinaris was controlled by the Schutzstaffel (SS) in Nazi Germany.

2. Evian (1829)

Year Established: Yes
Location: Évian-les-Bains, French Alps, France
Still Operational: Yes

Evian (1829)Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

Evian was founded in 1829 as “Societe des Eaux Minerales.”   Marquis de Lessert discovered Evian’s natural mineral water source in Évian-les-Bains in 1789. In 1806, because of the quality of the water, Monsieur Cachat began local sales. It later led to the first thermal spa in 1806 and a bottling facility in 1826.

The company first became a public entity in 1859 and later came into French ownership in 1860 under the Treaty of Turin. Evian’s source is still in Évian-les-Bains. Today, this production facility in the French Alps produces 6 million bottles daily.

Evian Mineral Water and the evian® brand emerged in the 19th century to develop thermalism and water bottling activities. The brand expanded globally when Danone Waters of America imported Evian to the U.S. and Canada in 1978. Today, Evian is owned by Danone, a French multinational corporation. Today, they also include organic skincare products and a luxury resort in France.

Did you know? 

Evian focuses on environmental sustainability and has achieved B Corp accreditation. They pledged to be a completely circular brand by 2025.

1. Schweppes (1783)

Year Established: 1783
Location: Republic of Geneva (now distributed globally)
Still Operational: Yes

Schweppes (1783)Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

Schweppes, one of the oldest water bottle companies in the world, was founded in 1783 by Johann Jacob Schweppe. Schweppes was first established in the Republic of Geneva and distributes carbonated mineral water worldwide. The licensing and distribution is handled by various international conglomerates. 

In 1783, Schweppes was originally created as regular soda water. Their brand now includes lemonades and ginger ales. Schweppes has been the British royal warrant holder since 1836. They were also the official sponsor of Prince Albert’s great exhibition in London in 1851. 

Sweppes was developed by Johann Jacob Schweppe based on the discoveries of English chemist Joseph Priestley. In 1883, their advertisements started featuring Schweppe’s Mineral Waters.

The company has a complex history of ownership and distribution. But after Coca-Cola bought the brand from Cadbury in 1999, they, to date, distribute Schweppes globally. 

Did you know?

While Coca-Cola company is  Schweppes’ distributor, some countries are handled by others. Jafora-Tabori manages distribution in Israel. Keurig Dr. Pepper handles distribution in North America. Schweppes Australia manages distribution in Australia. Suntory oversees distribution in various European countries and Asia.


Water has existed since the beginning of time, and commercial water bottles have been around for over a century. These nine are some of the oldest water bottle companies in the world and have evolved a lot since its beginning. 

They are still operational and have changed ownership a few times up until now. So, before you grab a bottle of water next time, consider all this history. Cheers!

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