HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – America has many versions of Perrier. One such brand, a brand also particularly connected to green bottles, is Mountain Valley Spring Water, continuously bottled since 1871 in Arkansas. This year, the brand celebrates its 150th Anniversary, with contests and travel awards. The founding date means that it is far older than Perrier, founded in 1898.
If the White House were to have a presidential warrant system (which it ought to) Mountain Valley Spring Water would be among the presidential appointments. It is sort of a legend among American water brands, and presidents from and including Calvin Coolidge to Bill Clinton have served it at the White House. Eisenhower was even prescribed it. Other fans included Elvis and Sinatra. It also has a legend of being served to Thoroughbred racehorses.
Over the decades, the brand grew, but in 1966 was sold and headquarters were moved to Paramus, N.J. In 1987, Sammons Enterprises of Dallas purchased the company and moved operations back to Hot Springs. Sammons sold the company in April 2004. Primo Water North America, a subsidiary of Primo Water Corporation later acquired it.
Important Tourism Aspect
The company is a tourist attraction in Hot Springs, where in 2004 they opened the Mountain Valley Spring Water Visitor Center and Museum on Bathhouse Row. The brand is a part of the attractions around Hot Springs National Park. Mountain Valley is wise to keep this investment open. Not only does it help sell the brand and merchandise, but it reasserts the importance of these springs. It also connects the brand to family travel, and medicine. There are also many that confuse this natural spring water with generic “bottled water” and for ecological reasons, do not drink bottled water. The reality is that mineral springs, with water like this, deserve to have a life well beyond their regional audiences.
The popularity of regional springs helps to remind Americans of the importance of groundwater and aquifers, and the natural stone filters built into the earth. Spring brands are often located in mountainous areas with fewer industries and wealth so the panache of a water brand helps sell the region as a destination.
In many instances, the springs use for drinking water predates the arrival of Europeans. And healing springs were one of the great “finds” of settlers.
Many bottled mineral water brands have been lost over the years. For instance, Richmond’s Beaufont Springs, which later made Climax Ginger Ale and Richbrau Ale, is closed. However, many others survive, each with a local story, differing mineral counts, and unique tastes and bottles.
Very often their “founding date” is the time the company was launched from the water. Some springs include, but are certainly not limited to the following:
- 1845: Poland Spring of Maine
- 1875: Tourmaline Spring Summit Spring in Harrison, Maine (1875 or 1792)
- 1872: Saratoga Spring Water of Saratoga, N.Y.
- 1889, Castle Rock of California
- 1905: Ozarka of Eureka Springs, Arkansas
- 2012: Waiākea of Hawaii
About the Company
Mountain Valley Spring Water is a brand of Primo Water North America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tampa-based Primo Water Corporation (NYSE: PRMW). Primo was formerly known as Cott Corporation, and changed names after its acquisition of Primo Water. In 2018, and in one of the best deals every, Cott Corporation announced that subsidiary DS Services, acquired The Mountain Valley Spring Company for $78.5 million in cash from Kansas City-based Great Range Capital. It owns a number of other regional water brands.