WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama is expanding her push for America to drink more water, as the White House claims partial responsibility for helping to boost nearly $1 million in bottled water sales among consumers since the national “Drink Up” campaign launched in September.
The 3 percent increase in retail sales of bottled water was reported in a study released Tuesday by Nielsen Catalina Solutions.
“Make no mistake about it: when we make a real effort to promote healthy products, when we put as much energy and creativity into marketing healthy products as we do for junk food, then kids actually get excited about these products and families actually buy them and consume them,” Mrs. Obama said.
“If we can achieve that kind of success in marketing something as simple as water, than I know we can do the exact same thing for any health product— whether that’s fruits and veggies, or whole grains or lean meats and dairy products. We can get kids to enjoy those things, too.”
The first lady also announced new support and recommitments for the campaign from seven companies including Haws drinking fountains, Nalgene reusable bottles, Brita water filtration company and S’well Bottle.
The Nielsen Catalina Solutions study polled 1.1 million households where people viewed the “Drink Up” ads on computers, mobile phones, iPads, tablets and other devices during a 16-week period from September to December of last year.
Among the three consumer groups surveyed, the “Fence Sitters”— ethnically-diverse, mid to upscale-income consumers ages 25 to 44, were the most responsive to the online ads.
Mrs. Obama launched the campaign with the Partnership for a Healthier America to encourage children and families to drink plain water more often. The nonprofit said the campaign now has support from 60 organizations.
In honor of the approaching one year anniversary, the first lady was joined on the South Lawn by more than 30 children from a local D.C. YMCA and community center to unveil a 60-by-40 foot “Drink Up” logo surrounded by 2,000 blue water bottles in the shape of a water drop.
Mrs. Obama is a longtime supporter of healthier eating and physical fitness, and launched the anti-childhood-obesity initiative “Let’s Move!” in 2010.