It’s the $500 Million dollar a year addiction that proves with the right marketing, you really can sell just about anything.

Despite countless scientific ‘taste tests’ proving consumers cannot tell the difference, a record number of Australians are opting to purchase bottled water rather than choosing its much cheaper counterpart from the tap.

The rise in the number of Australians buying bottled water, an increase of eight percent from 2014-15, is likely due to clever marketing ploys.

More alarmingly, shoppers are paying $3 a litre for Mount Franklin and a whopping $8 a litre for Voss, which is well above the average petrol price of $1.50 a litre.

A recent study by consumer group Choice found that drinking 2 litres of tap water a day works out to be $2 per year, while consuming the same amount of the bottled variety can cost almost $3,000.

So, what has many Australians forking out the cash?

Marketing tricks including labelling bottles with snow-capped mountains and rainforests sparks a ‘pure’ visual among consumers who link bottled water to nature, according to experts from Queensland University of technology.

Australians between the age of 25 and 34 are also the most likely to purchase the bottled form.

According to market research firm, Roy Morgan, about 5.3 million Australians over 14-years of age were drinking bottled water in an average week.

That figure surged by eight percent last year.

And its women who are driving the bottled water explosion, with females more likely to buy nine out of 10 of the top brands – including Mount Franklin, Natural Spring Water and Pump – compared to men.

“By emphasising the natural and untouched quality of their water, these brands are implying, without stating outright, they are better for the consumer than tap water,” Andrew Price from Roy Morgan said.

“This message appears to be resonating with more women than men: Not only do they drink more of it, but slightly more agree that ‘bottled water is better to drink than tap water’.”

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