Saturday, November 11, 2017

Poland Spring Controversy: 2017


                                                                         Range Pond, which is located near Poland Spring

Poland Spring is one of the most popular bottled water companies in the United States. They rank 5th in total sales out of the major bottled water companies in the United States. The water is said to come from eight springs in the state of Maine, but it was in 1844 that Hiram Ricker discovered the poland spring. He started selling the spring water in 1859, and you could say the rest is history. For a little over 150 year, Poland Spring has become a product well know by generations upon generations.

In August of 2017, a class-action lawsuit was brought against Poland Spring. Poland Spring, which is owned by Nestle, is a bottled-water company. The lawsuit claims that Poland Spring is using water that is not considered "spring water" by the Federal Food and  Drug Administration. Allegedly, some of Poland Spring's products contain ordinary groundwater that defendant collects from wells it drilled in saturated plains or valleys where the water table is within a few feet of the earth’s surfaceIf this is true, then Poland Spring is being dishonest on what exactly their product is. Their label says that their water is 100% spring water from Maine. If the false advertisement is true, then the class-action lawsuit will have merit. Since that Poland Spring is advertised as 100% spring water, they are able to charge more than just regularly filtered water because of the quality. They are taking advantage of American consumers. People would definitely not pay the price for Poland Spring if they knew it was common groundwater. The class-action lawsuit has been filed by 11 lead plaintiffs from Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine(which is where Poland Spring is from). The owners of Poland Spring, Nestle, are from Connecticut. This shows that the issue are not just coming from the home states of the product but from all over New England plus New York.

The stakeholders in this case are the American consumers, the people filing the lawsuit, and Poland Spring(Nestle). The American consumers have been affected by this case because it is very possible that they have been tricked for many years by Poland Spring. However, the 11 consumers that are the lead plaintiffs in the case are probably the most affected by this case since they are the ones filing the lawsuit. The false advertisement has caused consumers to buy regular-filtered water at a spring water price. The people filing the lawsuit could receive money from Poland Spring if they win the case and prove that they have not been using spring water for their products. This case matters to the people of Poland Spring because if they lose it could immensely damage their business. Nestle wants to source water from a well in Lincoln, Maine. If they lose, the state could deny them this location to obtain water from. Losing this location could potentially lose a lot of money for Poland Spring. So this case means a lot more than paying back angry consumers if they lose. Poland Spring's reputation would also go down the drain if they lose this case. 

Nestle's goal is to maximize their profits for their stakeholders. They have done that for the most part. Poland Spring is a very successful brand and many people buy their bottles of water. However, this can not be done by committing fraud by any way. If Poland Spring is guilty, they have have to serve their sentence and stop committing fraud by actually using spring water in their products. If Poland Spring is innocent, then they have no problem at all. They just have to keep using the spring water because that is what they are advertising. They can maximize their profits by adjusting their prices however they see fit. 
                       Nestlé Waters North America’s chief sustainability officer, Nelson Switzer
The goal of utilitarianism is to make all conscious beings involved in the case happy. In this case, Poland Spring, if found guilty, would have to accept any punishment they receive. This means they would probably have to pay money  to the 11 plaintiffs that filed the class-action lawsuit. This would hurt them financially, but it will also hurt their reputation as a brand. People will know that they have been deceiving people for a long time and people just wouldn't trust them anymore. However, this would make the American consumers and the people who filed the lawsuit happy. After Poland Spring did whatever they needed to do, they would be allowed to keep selling water, as long as it is spring water.

You are supposed to do what is right, because it is the right thing to do. The right thing to do for a kantian in the Nestle company would be to use spring water in their products. And if they are not using spring water at the moment, immediately make the correction. Since their labels say that the water is 100% spring water, then the water should actually be 100% spring water. The wrong thing to do would be to use regularly-filtered water. If Poland Spring uses spring water, then there is no controversy. If they still want to use regularly-filtered groundwater because it cheaper to obtain, then they have to sell their product at a regularly-filtered groundwater price. This would be the morally right thing to do.
                    Allegedly, "not one drop" of Poland Spring is actual spring water
Virtue Theory
In virtue theory, a being is only happy if it fulfills its function. There are also four virtues in business- courage, honesty, temperance, and justice. If Poland Spring is guilty, then one virtue they are lacking in is honesty. Since they are advertising that the water is spring water when it really isn't, then they are being dishonest. The consumers deserve to be treated with respect, so you have to be honest with them if you want to be successful. You also have to haveht encourage to do what it is right. If Poland Spring is guilty, then they have to admit it and change for the better. For justice, if Poland Spring is convicted than they will have to fulfill their sentence. 

“Poland Spring Water is committing 'colossal fraud,' lawsuit says.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 18 Aug. 2017,

Dier, Arden. “Poland Spring water is a 'colossal fraud,' lawsuit alleges.” Fox News, FOX News Network,

Layne, Rachel. “Lawsuit claims Poland Spring water isn't from a spring.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 18 Aug. 2017,

Stuart, Christine. “Consumers Call Nestle Poland Spring Water 'a Colossal Fraud'.” Homepage, Courthouse News, 16 Aug. 2017,

“Our Story.” Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water,

Bhattarai, Abha. “'Not one drop' of Poland Spring bottled water is from a spring, lawsuit says.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 22 Aug. 2017,

Schott, Paul. “Lawsuit alleges false marketing of Nestle Waters' Poland Spring water.” StamfordAdvocate, Stamford Advocate, 23 Aug. 2017,


  1. Alex,

    I really enjoyed reading your post about Poland Spring, as a consumer of this product i had no idea that there was a lawsuit on this topic! I really enjoyed your blog i just have one thing that i think that you could change, just making everything the same font, white background, and size! The format can make a huge difference to people reading and make it have a better flow rather than chopping off at certain parts, other wise, excellent job!

  2. Alex,
    I enjoyed this blog, and I was completely unaware of this controversy. I think that everything flowed very well, and that for the most part the blog itself looks pretty good. I would just make a few formatting changes. Overall very interesting blogpost!!