Why Is Bottled Water So Expensive?

Business editor Derek Thompson looks at how such a simple commodity became as pricey as soda. 

In Economics in Plain English, the new economic explainer video series from The Atlantic, business editor Derek Thompson answers big and small questions selected from hundreds of reader submissions. Up first: Why is bottled water so expensive? In less than three minutes, Thompson explains what goes into the price of bottles, why all water is more expensive than you think, and why the most expensive component in some bottled water is neither the bottle nor the water. 

Don't miss Thompson's introduction to the project and stay tuned for the rest of the series in the next two weeks. 

Thanks to Tom Cascino of Broke for Free for letting us feature "Warm Up Suit" in the video. Check out more of his music here.

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

The Blacksmith: A Short Film About Art Forged From Metal

"I'm exploiting the maximum of what you can ask a piece of metal to do."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

Video

The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

How a Brooklyn tattoo artist popularized the "cattoo"

More in Video

Just In