Bottled Water from the Rainforest

With competition from Voss and Fiji and a growing bad rap for bottled water, can a startup make it selling luxury water from the Amazon rainforest?

Is there room on the market for yet another high-priced water in a designer bottle? How about one whose source is in a pristine but ecologically threatened environment? Florida businessman Jeff Moats believes so. Early next year, if a factory and production line are completed on time, his $12 million privately financed startup plans to start selling a superpremium brand of water called Equa in upscale restaurants and trendy food stores like Whole Foods Markets (WFMI). While environmentalists might be concerned, the allure to consumers, Moats believes, will be Equa's purity and minimalist bottles shaped like rain droplets. His source? Brazil's Amazon rainforest, which Moats calls "probably the last place on Earth that holds boundless mystery and mystique."

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