Are Dutch consumers willing to pay for the more sustainable option of tap water?


Duurzame Horeca Nederland, Dutch Non-profit organisation supporting sustainable food service industry


Duurzame Horeca Nederland (DHN) initiates and runs projects to help hospitality businesses become more sustainable. DHN wanted to know: are Dutch consumers prepared to pay for tap water at cafes and restaurants? Tap water causes a dilemma. It’s way more sustainable than bottled water and of high quality, but restaurants will lose profits when the serve it instead of bottled and branded water. Is there a solution?

Our approach:

We tapped into our Food Forum to ask nearly 200 consumers if they would be willing to pay for tap water, how much and under which conditions.

Findings in a nutshell:

A plain glass of water is considered to be included in service and not valuable enough to pay for, unless it is the only drink a guest wants to order. In that case, cafes and restaurants can charge a small amount (up to €1,50) without putting off a significant proportion of their clientele. But the decreased perception of hospitality might offset these revenues.

A refillable carafe with an added flavour, such as a slice of lemon, is perceived as a product and service worth paying for. A refillable carafe with additional flavour can be priced between €2,50 and €3,00.

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