GLENS FALLS — Just Water has changed just a little bit.
Three new flavors with new colorful packaging will be on displays in stores later this month; yellow for lemon, orange for tangerine and red for apple cinnamon. The package has more graphics, less text and now offers a mini, 330-milliliter container along with the traditional 500-milliliter container.
But the Glens Falls-based water company has tapped into something much deeper than infused waters with hipster-style packaging. The company is taking, and always has taken, a proactive approach to bringing economic development to the city and saving the city’s quality water supply.
“The most important thing that we’re doing to reinvent the water bottled business is not immediately accessible or understandable to a consumer. It’s hard to explain,” said Jim Siplon, the company’s chief operating officer.
“When we got here, the city was losing 1 out of 2 gallons of water,” Siplon said.
The company has been doing business in Glens Falls going on three years.
“Today, instead of losing 600 million gallons a year, the city is losing 200 to 300 millions of gallons year. They have gallons of water staying in the system that would have been lost,” Siplon said.
Siplon made it clear that Just Water isn’t the sole reason for the savings, but added that they helped in ways like contribute to the new sewer line along Ridge Road that was just finished at the end of last year.
“We’ve created a new revenue source that the city didn’t have before and that allows them to make decisions they wouldn’t otherwise make,” Siplon added.
It all starts behind the scenes at the location on Broad Street at the former St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church.
The production room is where tanks of water are brought in, filtered and ozonated. It’s also where each paper bottle is formed and filled. Then the bottles are brought to the warehouse, where they make mountains on pallets. Eventually, they are loaded onto trucks.
The company employs 11 people in Glens Falls.
The new infused product is flavored with essence, meaning it’s more aromatic than anything. The flavor is made through condensed steam collected while boiling the source materials, Siplon explained.
The new 330-milliliter bottles are to appeal to consumers for things like school lunches and travel sizes. It’s also perfect for markets where space is tight, like airplanes and hotels. The packaging is of the same environmentally-friendly 100 percent recycled containers.
Two other colors, green and maroon, are also featured on www.justwater.com, which may represent more infused beverages coming. Anticipated retail price range is $1.69 to $1.99 per bottle.
But Siplon reiterated that the new products are just a sub-category in the water-selling world and Just Water’s mission is much deeper than what’s in the stores.
“The goal was to come into a place like this and help it reinvent itself. We had to find a place where we could be meaningful,” Siplon said.
“It’s hard to break through to greatness and be more than just OK. You’ve got to want to do something to be great the make the process worthwhile, or else it’s just noise.”