While travelling in France, I noticed that bottled water cost a fraction of what it costs in the United States. A 6-pack of 1.5L bottles retailed for around 6FRF, at that time equivalent to roughly $.80 USD. You can barely get a 12-oz bottle of water for that amount of money in the US. The exchange rate is favorable to the US dollar at present, but it's not that favorable.

The tap water throughout France tasted somewhat less unnatural than the water in my hometown of Tucson, AZ, and much less vile than the bizarre tap water of Phoenix, AZ. Perhaps the bottled water companies in France cannot sell their product as profitably in a country where people can drink the water out of the faucet without issues. I am not really sure what type of water treatment, if any, is used in France for the public water supply. Reinforcing this idea is the fact that bottles of water in France (and several other European countries) did not focus on the idea of "purity" or being "refreshing". I didn't see any corny paragraphs about a pure, safeguarded mountain spring, for instance, or any nonsense health claims.

Then again, marketing campaigns in general seem to be more successful in the US and countries with related histories and economies. Of course, bottled water from the nice men with ice buckets in tourist areas ran as high as 15FRF a bottle (roughly $2, at the time of this writing).