UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 8-K

CURRENT REPORT
Pursuant to Section 13 OR 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

Date of Report (Date of earliest event reported) March 1, 2019

THE ALKALINE WATER COMPANY INC.
Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Nevada 000-55096 EIN 99-0367049
(State or other jurisdiction (Commission (IRS Employer
of incorporation) File Number) Identification No.)

14646 N. Kierland Blvd., Suite 255
Scottsdale, Arizona 85254
(Address of principal executive offices and Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (480) 656-2423

Not Applicable
(Former name or former address, if changed since last report)

Check the appropriate box below if the Form 8-K filing is intended to simultaneously satisfy the filing obligation of the registrant under any of the following provisions:

[ ] Written communications pursuant to Rule 425 under the Securities Act (17 CFR 230.425)

[ ] Soliciting material pursuant to Rule 14a-12 under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14a -12)

[ ] Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 14d-2(b) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14d -2(b))

[ ] Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 13e-4(c) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.13e -4(c))

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an emerging growth company as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933 (§230.405 of this chapter) or Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (§240.12b -2 of this chapter).

Emerging growth company [ ]

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. [ ]


2

Item 7.01 Regulation FD Disclosure.

Our March 2019 presentation, attached to this current report on Form 8-K as Exhibit 99.1, is incorporated into this Item 7.01 by reference.

In addition, our 2019 financial outlook is furnished below:

2019 Financial Outlook

For our fiscal year ended March 31, 2019, we forecast total revenue in the range of between $31.0 million and $33.0 million, representing an increase of between 56% and 66% over the year ended March 31, 2018.

Our forecasted revenue is based on our expectation that revenue growth will remain consistent for the 4th quarter of fiscal 2019 and that significant sales growth will continue in Southern California and that significant orders will be received from the national-retailers and the east coast grocery chains, which have only recently started selling our products. In addition, we assume that we will continue to be able to add co-packing plants and production capacity to satisfy customer demand.

As our sale cycle is only 7 to 14 days, a slowdown of the growth in any of the areas set forth above during the final month of the 4th quarter of fiscal 2019 or other events could cause actual results to vary materially from this forecast. In addition, sales growth, which may have a significant impact on quarterly and annual revenue, is difficult to predict.

In accordance with General Instruction B.2 of Form 8-K, the information in Item 7.01 of this current report on Form 8-K, including Exhibit 99.1, is being furnished and shall not be deemed to be “filed” for purposes of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), or otherwise subject to the liabilities of that section, and shall not be incorporated by reference into any registration statement or other document filed under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Exchange Act, except as shall be expressly set forth by specific reference in such filing.

Forward-Looking Statements

This current report on Form 8-K contains forward-looking statements which relate to future events and/or our future financial performance. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may”, “should”, “expect”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “predict”, “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Such forward-looking statements include, among other things, our forecasted revenue for our fiscal year ended March 31, 2019. Forward-looking statements are based on material factors and assumptions made by our company in light of management’s experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that we believe are appropriate in the circumstances, including but not limited to, general economic conditions, product pricing levels and business competition, supply constraints, legal and regulatory requirements to which our products are subject, the timing and success of new product introductions, our expectations regarding our business, strategy, opportunities and prospects, including our ability to implement meaningful changes to address business challenges, and our expectations regarding the cash flow from operations. These statements are only predictions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including the risks in the section of this current report on Form 8-K entitled “Risk Factors”, uncertainties and other factors, that may cause our company’s or our industry’s actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.


3

While these forward-looking statements, and any assumptions upon which they are based, are made in good faith and reflect our current judgment regarding the direction of our business, actual results will almost always vary, sometimes materially, from any estimates, predictions, projections, assumptions or other future performance suggested herein. We caution you not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Except as required by applicable law, including the securities laws of the United States and Canada, we disclaim any obligation subsequently to revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events.

Item 8.01 Other Events.

Our updated business summary and risk factors are set forth below:

Our Business

Overview

We offer retail consumers bottled alkaline water in 500-milliliter, 700-milliliter, 1-liter, 1.5 -liter, 3-liter and 1-gallon sizes under the trade name Alkaline88®. Our product is produced through an electrolysis process that uses specialized electronic cells coated with a variety of rare earth minerals to produce our 8.8 pH drinking water without the use of any manmade chemicals. Our product also incorporates 84 trace minerals from Himalayan pink rock salt. Our product is designed to have a clean smooth taste using only purified water and the Himalayan pink rock salt. We believe consumers drink our water because of the taste profile and the preconceived health benefits (although we do not market our products as having any potential health benefits), as well as because of our brand and trademark, which we believe is one of the most easily identifiable in the category. Measured by sales volume in 2018, we believe we are now one of the largest alkaline water companies in the United States.

Our product is presently available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, although over 50% of our current sales are concentrated in the Southwest and Texas. We distribute our product through several channels. We sell through large national distributors, including UNFI, KeHE, C&S, and Core-Mark. We also sell our product to retail clients, including convenience stores, natural food products stores, large ethnic markets and national retailers. Examples of our retail clients include Walmart, Food Lion, Albertson’s, Safeway, Kroger, Schnucks, Smart & Final, Jewel-Osco, Sprouts, Bashas’, Stater Bros. Markets, Unified Grocers, Bristol Farms, Vallarta, Superior Foods, Ingles, HEB and Brookshire’s. The majority of our sales to retail clients are through brokers and distributors, however, sales to our larger retail clients are often direct to the client’s own warehouse distribution network.

Our operating subsidiary operates primarily as a marketing, distribution, and manufacturing company. It has entered into co-packing agreements with eight different bottling companies located in Virginia, Georgia, California, Texas, Nevada and Arizona to act as co-packers for our product. Our current capacity at all plants exceeds approximately $8.3 million per month wholesale.

Archpoint Group, a business and marketing consulting firm and sales broker, has been engaged to assist our company in all aspects of our marketing, trade promotion and brand development. Their expertise in all aspects of consumer goods brand development, marketing and promotional programs is expected to help us meet the growing consumer demand for both our flagship Alkaline88® product and our upcoming A88 Infused product line. Water Source One, a producer of private labeled bottled water, has been engaged to assist in the manufacturing, procurement and logistical aspects of our business. Their specialized water production capabilities companies is expected to allow us to support the growing demand for our products. We believe this arrangement will enable us to further scale production and distribution as the Alkaline88® brand continues to gain market share. E.A. Berg, a sales and merchandising broker, has been engaged to implement a unique “Van Program” (where sales representatives sell products directly from vans to the retailers) throughout Texas and California which is intended to bring both our flagship Alkaline88® products and, once launched, A88 Infused’s products to over 13,000 independently owned convenience stores in those markets. We expect to be able to expand the program to an additional nine US markets over the next few years. Our component materials are readily available through multiple vendors. Our principal suppliers are Vav Plastics Inc., Amcor Inc. and Packaging Corporation of America. The electrolysis process through which our product is produced is proprietary to us and, while the process is not patented, we seek to protect the process through the maintenance of trade secrets and know-how.


4

A88 Infused Beverage Division, Inc.

In August 2018, we formed A88 Infused Beverage Division, Inc., or A88 Infused, a Nevada corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary of our company. A88 Infused’s focus is brand extension and product innovations in the wellness water category. We formed A88 Infused to meet what we believe is increasing consumer demand for enhanced and functional (value-added) beverages. We expect A88 Infused to capitalize on this and potential consumer demand with the development and launch of new products focused on growing trends in the beverage space.

To prepare for the launch of products by A88 Infused, we have expanded our packaging capabilities. We announced in January, 2019 that Nevada-based Western Group Packing has agreed to produce A88 Infused’s flavored Alkaline88® water products and its planned hemp extract-infused water product at its 150,000+ square feet facility located in North Las Vegas, NV. We have received verbal confirmation from many of our current retail clients of their interest in purchasing our flavored Alkaline88® waters. The production of A88 Infused’s planned hemp extract product is contingent on U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or the FDA, and state laws, regulations, and guidance. While the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 removed hemp from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the law did not change FDA’s authorities with respect to food or drugs. As of February 28, 2019, the FDA has not made a determination that the use of hemp extract in food is safe. FDA has evaluated Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) notices for three hemp seed-derived food ingredients and determined that the agency has no questions that those ingredients are GRAS under their intended conditions of use.

In early February 2019, at the Convenience EPPS trade show in Chicago, Illinois, we sampled and offered up for sale “Alkaline88® Flavored,” which is available in five different, all natural, sugar-free flavors. We believe “Alkaline88® Flavored” is the first flavored bottled alkaline water to be sold in the United States.

A88 Infused is also developing and preparing for the initial launch of its planned hemp extract product, which will be marketed under the trademark Soothe™. In the event FDA issues appropriate regulations or guidance or determines that it has no questions that hemp extract is GRAS under intended conditions of use that would permit A88 Infused to market hemp extract in water without food additive approval, we expect to produce and sell Soothe™ as both a sparkling water in cans and as still water in bottles. We may also decide to market Soothe™ if a supplier meets and complies with FDA’s GRAS regulations with respect to a self-certification regarding the safety and GRAS status of the use of hemp extract. We expect to produce Soothe™ as a low calorie or no calorie, hemp extract-infused water in five flavors. We may change the composition of our planned hemp-extract-infused product as necessary to comply with federal, state or local laws, regulations or guidance.

We intend to comply in full with all federal, state, and local laws, rules and regulations as we develop our hemp extract alkaline water and other product lines. We will not pursue the production or sale of hemp extract-infused products until legally permitted.


5

Plan of Operations

In order for us to implement our business plan over the next 12 months, we have identified the following milestones that we expect to achieve:

The milestones set forth above, including the estimates with respect to expenses and capital needs, and the assumptions upon which they are based, reflect our current judgment and belief regarding the direction of our business. Actual events, expenditures and results will almost always vary, sometimes materially, from any estimates, predictions, projections or assumptions suggested herein.

We believe that cash flow from operations will not meet our present and near-term cash needs, including those relating to our engagements of Archpoint Group, Water Source One and E.A. Berg, and our cash needs for the above milestones over the next 12 months and thus we will require additional cash resources, including from the sale of equity or debt securities, to meet our planned capital expenditures and working capital requirements for the next 12 months. If our own financial resources and future cash-flows from operations are insufficient to satisfy our capital requirements, we may seek to sell additional equity or debt securities or obtain additional credit facilities. The sale of additional equity securities will result in dilution to our stockholders. The incurrence of indebtedness will result in increased debt service obligations and could require us to agree to operating and financial covenants that could restrict our operations or modify our plans to grow the business. Financing may not be available in amounts or on terms acceptable to us, if at all. Any failure by us to raise additional funds on terms favorable to us, or at all, will limit our ability to expand our business operations and could harm our overall business prospects.


6

Risk Factors

An investment in our common stock involves a number of very significant risks. You should carefully consider the following risks and uncertainties in addition to other information in this report in evaluating our company and its business before purchasing our securities. Our business, operating results and financial condition could be seriously harmed as a result of the occurrence of any of the following risks. You could lose all or part of your investment due to any of these risks.

Risks Related to Our Business.

Because we have a limited operating history, we may have difficulty realizing consistent and meaningful revenues and achieving profitability.

We were incorporated on June 6, 2011, and we only began producing and distributing alkaline bottled water in 2013. Since we have a limited operating history, our ability to successfully develop our products and to realize consistent and meaningful revenues and to achieve profitability has not been established and cannot be assured. For us to realize consistent, meaningful revenues and to achieve profitability, our products must receive broad market acceptance by consumers. Without this market acceptance, we will not be able to generate sufficient revenue to continue our business operation. If our products are not widely accepted by the market, our business may fail.

Our ability to achieve and maintain profitability and positive cash flow is dependent upon our ability to generate revenues, manage development costs and expenses, and compete successfully with our direct and indirect competitors. We anticipate operating losses in upcoming future periods. This will occur because there are expenses associated with the development, production, marketing, and sales of our products.

Our independent registered public accounting firm has expressed substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.

Our financial statements are prepared using generally accepted accounting principles in the United States applicable to a going concern, which contemplates the realization of assets and liquidation of liabilities in the normal course of business. We have not yet established an ongoing source of revenues sufficient to cover our operating costs and to allow us to continue as a going concern. As of December 31, 2018, we had an accumulated deficit of $35,858,604. Our ability to continue as a going concern is dependent on our company obtaining adequate capital to fund operating losses until we become profitable. If we are unable to obtain adequate capital, we could be forced to significantly curtail or cease operations.

In its report on our financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2018, our independent registered public accounting firm included an explanatory paragraph regarding substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern. Our financial statements do not include any adjustments that might result from the outcome of this uncertainty.

We will need additional funds to continue producing, marketing, and distributing our products.

We will have to spend additional funds to continue producing, marketing and distributing our products. If we cannot raise sufficient capital, we may have to cease operations and you could lose your investment. We will need additional funds to continue to produce our products for distribution to our target market.


7

We will have to continue to spend substantial funds on distribution, marketing and sales efforts before we will know if we have commercially viable and marketable/sellable products.

There is no guarantee that sufficient sale levels will be achieved.

There is no guarantee that the expenditure of money on distribution and marketing efforts will translate into sufficient sales to cover our expenses and result in profits. Consequently, there is a risk that you may lose all of your investment.

Our development, marketing, and sales activities are limited by our size.

Because we are small and do not have much capital, we must limit our product development, marketing, and sales activities. As such, we may not be able to complete our production and business development program in a manner that is as thorough as we would like. We may not ever generate sufficient revenues to cover our operating and expansion costs and you may, therefore, lose your entire investment.

Changes in the non-alcoholic beverage business environment and retail landscape could adversely impact our financial results.

The non-alcoholic beverage business environment is rapidly evolving as a result of, among other things, changes in consumer preferences, including changes based on health and nutrition considerations and obesity concerns; shifting consumer tastes and needs; changes in consumer lifestyles; and competitive product and pricing pressures. In addition, the non-alcoholic beverage retail landscape is very dynamic and constantly evolving, not only in emerging and developing markets, where modern trade is growing at a faster pace than traditional trade outlets, but also in developed markets, where discounters and value stores, as well as the volume of transactions through e-commerce, are growing at a rapid pace. If we are unable to successfully adapt to the rapidly changing environment and retail landscape, our share of sales, volume growth and overall financial results could be negatively affected.

Intense competition and increasing competition in the commercial beverage market could hurt our business.

The commercial retail beverage industry, and in particular its non-alcoholic beverage segment, is highly competitive. Market participants are of various sizes, with various market shares and geographical reach, some of whom have access to substantially more sources of capital.

We compete generally with all liquid refreshments, including bottled water and numerous specialty beverages, such as: CORE® Hydration, SOBE®, Snapple®, AriZona® Iced Tea, vitaminwater®, Gatorade Perform®, and POWERADE®.

We compete indirectly with major international beverage companies including but not limited to: The Coca-Cola Company®, PepsiCo, Inc., The Nestlé Group, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc, Danone S.A., The Kraft Heinz Company, and Unilever PLC. These companies have established market presence in the United States and globally, and offer a variety of beverages that are competitors to our products. We face potential direct competition from such companies, because they have the financial resources, and access to manufacturing and distribution channels to rapidly enter the alkaline water market. We compete directly with other alkaline water producers and brands focused on the emerging alkaline beverage market including: Eternal Naturally Alkaline® Spring Water, Essentia®, CORE® Hydration, Icelandic Glacial™, Real Water®, AQUAhydrate®, Mount Valley Spring Water™, QURE Water®, Penta® Water, and Alka Power™. These companies could bolster their position in the alkaline water market through additional expenditure and promotion.


8

As a result of both direct and indirect competition, our ability to successfully distribute, market and sell our products, and to gain sufficient market share in the United States and around the world to realize profits may be limited, greatly diminished, or totally diminished, which may lead to partial or total loss of your investments in our company.

Alternative non-commercial beverages or processes could hurt our business.

The availability of non-commercial beverages, such as tap water, and machines capable of producing alkaline water at the consumer’s home or at store-fronts could hurt our business, market share, and profitability.

Expansion of the alkaline beverage market or sufficiency of consumer demand in that market for operations to be profitable are not guaranteed.

The alkaline water market is an emerging market and there is no guarantee that this market will expand or that consumer demand will be sufficiently high enough to allow our company to successfully market, distribute and sell our products, or to successfully compete with current or future competition, all of which may result in total loss of your investment.

A failure to introduce new products or product extensions into new marketplaces successfully could prevent us from achieving long-term profitability.

We compete in an industry characterized by rapid changes in consumer preferences, so our ability to continue developing new products to satisfy our consumers’ changing preferences will determine our long-term success. A failure to introduce new products or product extensions into new marketplaces successfully could prevent us from achieving long-term profitability. In addition, customer preferences are also affected by factors other than taste, such as the publicity. If we do not adjust to respond to these and other changes in customer preferences, our sales may be adversely affected. In addition, a failure to obtain any required regulatory approvals for our proposed products could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition.

Our growth and profitability depends on the performance of third-party brokers and distributors and on our ongoing relationships with them.

Our distribution network and its success depend on the performance of third parties. Any non-performance or deficient performance by such parties may undermine our operations, profitability, and result in total loss of your investment. To distribute our products, we use a broker-distributor-retailer network whereby brokers represent our products to distributors and retailers who will in turn sell our products to consumers. The success of this network will depend on the performance of the brokers, distributors and retailers within this network. There is a risk that a broker, distributor, or retailer may refuse to or cease to market or carry our products. There is a risk that the mentioned entities may not adequately perform their functions within the network by, without limitation, failing to distribute to sufficient retailers or positioning our products in localities that may not be receptive to our products. Furthermore, such third-parties’ financial position or market share may deteriorate, which could adversely affect our distribution, marketing and sale activities. We also need to maintain good commercial relationships with third-party brokers, distributors and retailers so that they will promote and carry our products. Any adverse consequences resulting from the performance of third-parties or our relationship with them could undermine our operations, profitability and may result in total loss of your investment.


9

The loss of one or more of our major customers or a decline in demand from one or more of these customers could harm our business.

We have 2 major customers that together account for 46% (30% and 16%, respectively) of accounts receivable at December 31, 2018, and 2 customers that together account for 43% (24% and 19%, respectively) of the total revenues earned for the three months ended December 31, 2018. There can be no assurance that such customers will continue to order our products at the same level or at all. A reduction or delay in orders from such customers, including reductions or delays due to market, economic or competitive conditions, could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition.

Our dependence on a limited number of vendors leaves us vulnerable to having an inadequate supply of required products, price increases, late deliveries, and poor product quality.

We have three vendors that accounted for 59% (36%, 12% and 11%, respectively) of purchases for the three months ended December 31, 2018. Like other companies in our industry, we occasionally experience shortages and are unable to purchase our desired volume of products. Increasingly, our vendors are combining and merging together, leaving us with fewer alternative sources. If we are unable to maintain an adequate supply of products, our revenue and gross profit could suffer considerably. Finally, we cannot provide any assurance that our products will be available in quantities sufficient to meet customer demand. Any limits to product access could materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations.

Our business is sensitive to public perception. If any product proves to be harmful to consumers or if scientific studies provide unfavorable findings regarding their safety or effectiveness, then our image in the marketplace would be negatively impacted.

Our results of operations may be significantly affected by the public’s perception of our company and similar companies. Our business could be adversely affected if any of our products or similar products distributed by other companies proves to be harmful to consumers or if scientific studies provide unfavorable findings regarding the safety or effectiveness of our products or any similar products. If our products suffer from negative consumer perception, it is likely to adversely affect our business and results of operations.

Consumers may have preconceptions about the health benefits of alkaline water; such health benefits are not guaranteed or proven.

Health benefits of alkaline water are not guaranteed and have not been proven. Although we do not market our products as having any potential health benefits, there is a consumer perception that drinking alkaline water has beneficial health effects. Consequently, negative changes in consumers’ perception of the benefits of alkaline water or negative publicity surrounding alkaline water may result in loss of market share or potential market share and hence, loss of your investment. We are also prohibited from touting unconfirmed health benefits in our advertising and promotional activities for the products, both directly and indirectly through claims made by third-party endorsers when those endorsers have a material connection to our company.

Water scarcity and poor quality could negatively impact our production costs and capacity.

Water is the main ingredient in our products. It is also a limited resource, facing unprecedented challenges from overexploitation, increasing pollution, poor management, and climate change. As demand for water continues to increase, as water becomes scarcer, and as the quality of available water deteriorates, we may incur increasing production costs or face capacity constraints that could adversely affect our profitability or net operating revenues in the long run.


10

Increase in the cost, disruption of supply or shortage of ingredients, other raw materials or packaging materials could harm our business.

We and our bottlers will use water, 84 trace minerals from Himalayan salts and packaging materials for bottles such as plastic and paper products. The prices for these ingredients, other raw materials and packaging materials fluctuate depending on market conditions. Substantial increases in the prices of our or our bottlers’ ingredients, other raw materials and packaging materials, to the extent they cannot be recouped through increases in the prices of finished beverage products, could increase our operating costs and could reduce our profitability. Increases in the prices of our finished products resulting from a higher cost of ingredients, other raw materials and packaging materials could affect the affordability of our products and reduce sales.

An increase in the cost, a sustained interruption in the supply, or a shortage of some of these ingredients, other raw materials, or packaging materials and containers that may be caused by a deterioration of our or our bottlers’ relationships with suppliers; by supplier quality and reliability issues; or by events such as natural disasters, power outages, labor strikes, political uncertainties or governmental instability, or the like, could negatively impact our net revenues and profits.

Unfavorable general economic conditions in the United States could negatively impact our financial performance.

Unfavorable general economic conditions, such as a recession or economic slowdown, in the United States could negatively affect the affordability of, and consumer demand for, our products in the United States. Under difficult economic conditions, consumers may seek to reduce discretionary spending by forgoing purchases of our products or by shifting away from our beverages to lower-priced products offered by other companies, including non-alkaline water. Consumers may also cease purchasing bottled water and consume tap water. Lower consumer demand for our products in the United States could reduce our profitability.

Adverse weather conditions could reduce the demand for our products.

The sales of our products are influenced to some extent by weather conditions in the markets in which we operate. Unusually cold or rainy weather during the summer months may have a temporary effect on the demand for our products and contribute to lower sales, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations for such periods.

We rely on third parties to produce and bottle our products, which creates additional risk.

We do not own or operate bottling or co-packing facilities used for the production of the various water products in our portfolio. We rely on those third parties to ensure the quality, safety and integrity of our products. If the third parties that we engage to produce and bottle our products fail to meet our demands or are found by government agencies to be out of compliance with applicable regulatory requirements, our supplies of those products and our future profit margins could be adversely affected.


11

Product contamination or tampering or issues or concerns with respect to product quality, safety and integrity could adversely affect our business, reputation, financial condition or results of operations.

Product contamination or tampering, the failure to maintain high standards for product quality, safety and integrity, including with respect to raw materials and ingredients obtained from suppliers, or allegations (whether or not valid) of product quality issues, mislabeling, misbranding, spoilage, allergens, adulteration or contamination with respect to products in our portfolio may reduce demand for such products, and cause production and delivery disruptions or increase costs, each of which could adversely affect our business, reputation, financial condition or results of operations. If any of the products in our portfolio are mislabeled or become unfit for consumption or cause injury, illness or death, or if appropriate resources are not devoted to product quality and safety (particularly as we expand our portfolio into new categories) or to comply with changing food safety requirements, we could decide to, or be required to, recall products or withdraw from the marketplace and/or we may be subject to liability or government action, which could result in payment of damages or fines, cause certain products in our portfolio to be unavailable for a period of time, result in destruction of product inventory, or result in adverse publicity (whether or not valid), which could reduce consumer demand and brand equity. Moreover, even if allegations of product contamination or tampering or suggestions that our products were not fit for consumption are meritless, the negative publicity surrounding assertions against us or products in our portfolio or processes could adversely affect our reputation or brands. Our business could also be adversely affected if consumers lose confidence in product quality, safety and integrity generally, even if such loss of confidence is unrelated to products in our portfolio. Any of the foregoing could adversely affect our business, reputation, financial condition or results of operations. In addition, if we do not have adequate insurance, if we do not have enforceable indemnification from suppliers, bottlers, distributors or other third parties or if indemnification is not available, the liability relating to such product claims or disruption as a result of recall efforts could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Our products are considered premium beverages and are being sold at premium prices compared to our competitors’ products; we cannot provide any assurances as to consumers’ continued market acceptance of our current and future products.

We will compete directly with other alkaline water producers and brands focused on the emerging alkaline beverage market including Eternal, Essentia, Core, Icelandic, Real Water, Aqua Hydrate, Mountain Valley, Qure, Penta, and Alka Power. Products offered by our direct competitors are sold in various volumes and prices with prices ranging from approximately $0.99 for a half-liter bottle to $4.99 for a one-gallon bottle, and volumes ranging from half-liter bottles to one-gallon bottles. We currently offer our product in a one-gallon bottle for a suggested resale price or an SRP of $4.99, three-liter bottle for an SRP of $3.99, 1.5 liter at an SRP of $2.49, 1 liter at an SRP of $1.99, 700 milliliter single serving at an SRP of $1.19, and a 500 milliliter at an SRP of $0.99. Our competitors may introduce larger sizes and offer them at an SRP that is lower than our products. We can provide no assurances that consumers will continue to purchase our products or that they will not prefer to purchase a competitive product.

We are subject to periodic claims and litigation that could result in unexpected expenses and could ultimately be resolved against us.

From time to time, we are involved in litigation and other proceedings, including matters related to product liability claims, stockholder class action and derivative claims, commercial disputes and intellectual property, as well as trade, regulatory, employment, and other claims related to our business. Any of these proceedings could result in significant settlement amounts, damages, fines or other penalties, divert financial and management resources, and result in significant legal fees. An unfavorable outcome of any particular proceeding could exceed the limits of our insurance policies or the carriers may decline to fund such final settlements and/or judgments and could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition, and results of operations. In addition, any proceeding could negatively impact our reputation among our guests and our brand/image.


12

For example, our company was named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed on April 6, 2017, by Douglas Horn. Mr. Horn sought damages arising out of the alleged breach of a written employment agreement between our company and Mr. Horn. Mr. Horn alleged that our company has failed to pay wages and to transfer stock allegedly owed to him under the terms of his employment agreement. Our company denied the allegations of the claims, and moved to dismiss pursuant to the terms of the employment agreement which require that all disputes be resolved by arbitration. In response, Mr. Horn filed a notice of dismissal of all claims in that court, without prejudice. On September 21, 2017, Mr. Horn filed a Demand for Arbitration with the American Arbitration Association, asserting the same claims. Our company has responded, denying any liability to Mr. Horn and the matter is currently in the discovery phase. The arbitration has been set for a three day hearing on March 19 to 21, 2019. Our company intends to defend the claim vigorously.

We regularly evaluate potential expansion into international markets, and any expansion into such international operations could subject us to risks and expenses that could adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

To date, we have not undertaken substantial commercial activities outside of the United States. We have evaluated, and continue to evaluate, potential expansion into certain other international markets. If and when we seek to expand internationally in the future, our sales and operations would be subject to a variety of risks, including fluctuations in currency exchange rates, tariffs, import restrictions and other trade barriers, unexpected changes in legal and regulatory requirements, longer accounts receivable payment cycles, potentially adverse tax consequences, and difficulty in complying with foreign laws and regulations, as well as U.S. laws and regulations that govern foreign activities. Economic uncertainty in some of the geographic regions in which we might operate could result in the disruption of commerce and negatively impact our operations in those areas. Also, if we choose to pursue international expansion efforts, it may be necessary or desirable to contract with third parties, and we may not be able to enter into such agreements on commercially acceptable terms or at all. Further, such arrangements may not perform to our expectations, and we may be exposed to various risks as a result of the activities of our partners.

We rely on key executive officers who have extensive knowledge of our business and the industry in which we operate; the loss of any of these key executive officers would be difficult to replace and may adversely affect our business.

We are highly dependent on two executive officers, Richard A. Wright and David A. Guarino, who have extensive knowledge of our business and the industry in which we operate . We do not have “key person” life insurance policies for either of these officers The loss of Richard A. Wright and/or David A. Guarino could result in delays in product development, loss of any future customers and sales and diversion of management resources, which could adversely affect our operating results.


13

If we are unable to protect our information systems against service interruption, misappropriation of data or breaches of security, our operations could be disrupted, we may suffer financial losses and our reputation may be damaged.

We rely on networks and information systems and other technology (“information systems”), including the Internet and third-party hosted services, to support a variety of business processes and activities, including procurement and supply chain, manufacturing, distribution, invoicing and collection of payments, employee processes and consumer marketing. We use information systems to process financial information and results of operations for internal reporting purposes and to comply with regulatory financial reporting and legal and tax requirements. In addition, we depend on information systems for digital marketing activities and electronic communications between our company and our bottlers and other customers, suppliers and consumers. Because information systems are critical to many of our operating activities, our business may be impacted by system shutdowns, service disruptions or security breaches. These incidents may be caused by failures during routine operations such as system upgrades or by user errors, as well as network or hardware failures, malicious or disruptive software, unintentional or malicious actions of employees or contractors, cyberattacks by common hackers, criminal groups or nation-state organizations or social-activist (hacktivist) organizations, geopolitical events, natural disasters, failures or impairments of telecommunications networks, or other catastrophic events. In addition, such incidents could result in unauthorized or accidental disclosure of material confidential information or regulated individual personal data. If our information systems suffer severe damage, disruption or shutdown and our business continuity plans do not effectively resolve the issues in a timely manner, we could experience delays in reporting our financial results, and we may lose revenue and profits as a result of our inability to timely manufacture, distribute, invoice and collect payments for concentrate or finished products. Unauthorized or accidental access to, or destruction, loss, alteration, disclosure, falsification or unavailability of, information could result in violations of data privacy laws and regulations, damage to the reputation and credibility of our company and, therefore, could have a negative impact on net operating revenues. In addition, we may suffer financial and reputational damage because of lost or misappropriated confidential information belonging to us, our current or former employees, our bottling partners, other customers or suppliers, or consumers or other data subjects, and may become exposed to legal action and increased regulatory oversight. We could also be required to spend significant financial and other resources to remedy the damage caused by a security breach or to repair or replace networks and information systems.

In addition, third-party providers of data hosting or cloud services, as well as our bottling partners, distributors, retailers or suppliers, may experience cybersecurity incidents that may involve data we share with them. Although we have taken steps to prevent cybersecurity incidents, there can be no assurance that such steps will be adequate. In order to address risks to our information systems, we continue to make investments in personnel, technologies and training of our personnel.

Risks Related to Regulations Applicable to our Industry

Changes in laws and regulations relating to beverage containers and packaging could increase our costs and reduce our net operating revenues or profitability.

We and our bottlers offer our products in non-refillable, recyclable containers in the United States. Regulations have been enacted in various jurisdictions in the United States requiring that deposits or certain ecotaxes or fees be charged for the sale, marketing and use of certain non-refillable beverage containers. Other proposals relating to beverage container deposits, recycling, ecotax and/or product stewardship have been introduced in various jurisdictions in the United States and overseas, and we anticipate that similar legislation or regulations may be proposed in the future at local, state and federal levels in the United States. Consumers’ increased concerns and changing attitudes about solid waste streams and environmental responsibility and the related publicity could result in the adoption of such legislation or regulations. Current regulations or the adoption of future regulations in the geographical regions in which we currently operate or intend to operate could adversely affect our costs or require changes in our distribution model, which could reduce our net operating revenues or profitability.


14

Significant additional labeling or warning requirements or limitations on the availability of our products may inhibit sales of affected products.

Various jurisdictions may seek to adopt significant additional product labeling or warning requirements or limitations on the availability of our products relating to the content or perceived adverse health consequences of our products. Federal laws may preempt some or all of these attempts by state or localities to impose additional labeling or warning requirements. If these types of requirements become applicable to our products under current or future environmental or health laws or regulations, they may inhibit sales of our products. Moreover, if we fail to meet compliance deadlines for any such new requirements, our products may be deemed misbranded or mislabeled and could be subject to enforcement action, or we could be exposed to private lawsuits alleging misleading labels or product promotion.

Changes in, or failure to comply with, the laws and regulations applicable to our products or our business operations could increase our costs or reduce our net operating revenues.

The advertising, distribution, labeling, production, safety, sale, and transportation in the United States of our currently marketed products are subject to: the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; the Federal Trade Commission Act; the Lanham Act; state food and drug laws; state consumer protection laws; competition laws; federal, state, and local workplace health and safety laws, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act; various federal, state and local environmental protection laws; and various other federal, state, and local statutes and regulations. Changes to such laws and regulations could increase our costs or reduce our net operating revenues.

In addition, failure to comply with environmental, health or safety requirements and other applicable laws or regulations could result in the assessment of damages, the imposition of penalties, suspension of production, changes to equipment or processes, or a cessation of operations at our or our bottlers’ facilities, as well as damage to our image and reputation, all of which could harm our profitability.

If we fail to comply with personal data protection laws, we could be subject to adverse publicity, government enforcement actions and/or private litigation, which could negatively affect our business and operating results.

In the ordinary course of our business, we receive, process, transmit and store information relating to identifiable individuals (“personal data”), primarily employees and former employees. As a result, we are subject to various U.S. federal and state and foreign laws and regulations relating to personal data. These laws have been subject to frequent changes, and new legislation in this area may be enacted in other jurisdictions at any time. There is no assurance that our security controls over personal data, the training of employees and vendors on data privacy and data security, and the policies, procedures and practices we implemented or may implement in the future will prevent the improper disclosure of personal data. Improper disclosure of personal data in violation of applicable personal data protection laws could harm our reputation, cause loss of consumer confidence, subject us to government enforcement actions (including fines), or result in private litigation against us, which could result in loss of revenue, increased costs, liability for monetary damages, fines and/or criminal prosecution, all of which could negatively affect our business and operating results.


15

If we produce, market and/or sell beverages infused with hemp, as defined under the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, we will be subject to a myriad of different laws and regulations governing the use of hemp in food and beverages and if we are unable to comply with such laws in a cost-effective manner, our business could be adversely affected.

The production of a beverage infused with hemp, as “hemp” is defined in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (also known as the 2018 Farm Bill, Public Law 115-334), is contingent on U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or the FDA, and state laws, regulations, and guidance. While the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 removed hemp from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the law did not change FDA’s authorities with respect to food or drugs. As of February 28, 2019, the FDA has not made a determination that the use of hemp in food is safe. FDA has evaluated Generally Recognized as Safe or GRAS notices for three hemp seed-derived food ingredients and determined that the agency has no questions that those ingredients are GRAS under their intended conditions of use. We intend to comply in full with all federal, state, and local laws, rules and regulations as we develop our hemp alkaline water and other product lines. We will not pursue the production or sale of hemp-infused products until legally permitted.

Laws and regulations governing the use of hemp in food and beverages in the United States are broad in scope; subject to evolving interpretations; and subject to enforcement by a myriad of regulatory agencies and law enforcement entities. Under the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, a state or Indian tribe that desires to have primary regulatory authority over the production of hemp in the state or territory of the Indian tribe must submit a plan to monitor and regulate hemp production to the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture or USDA. The Secretary must then approve the state or tribal plan after determining if the plan complies with the requirements set forth in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. The Secretary may also audit the state or Indian tribe’s compliance with the federally-approved plan. If the Secretary does not approve the state or Indian tribe’s plan, then the production of hemp in that state or territory of that Indian tribe will be subject to a plan established by USDA. USDA has not yet established such a plan. We anticipate that many states will seek to have primary regulatory authority over the production of hemp. States that seek such authority may create new laws and regulations that permit the use of hemp in food and beverages.

Federal and state laws and regulations on hemp may address production, monitoring, manufacturing, distribution, and laboratory testing to ensure that that the hemp has a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. Federal laws and regulations may also address the transportation or shipment of hemp or hemp products, as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 prohibits states and Indian tribes from prohibiting the transportation or shipment of hemp or hemp products produced in accordance with that law through the state or territory of the Indian tribe, as applicable. Because we rely on a nationwide broker-distributor-retailer network whereby brokers represent our products to distributors and retailers in turn sell our product to consumers in the fifty states and the District of Columbia, we may be subject to many different state-based regulatory regimens for hemp, all of which could require us to incur substantial costs associated with compliance requirements. In addition, violations of these laws, or allegations of such violations, could disrupt our business and result in a material adverse effect on our operations, as well as adverse publicity and potential harm to our reputation. We and our suppliers and vendors must take significant enterprise risk management steps to ensure that there is no commingling of hemp and marihuana, as “marihuana” is defined in the federal Controlled Substances Act. Marihuana remains subject to the Controlled Substances Act and related regulations.

Furthermore, if we decide to produce, market and sell beverages infused with hemp outside of the United States, we will be subject to applicable laws and regulations in those non-U.S. jurisdictions, which would require us to expend significant costs associated with compliance.

In addition, it is possible that additional regulations may be enacted in the future in the United States and globally that will be directly applicable to our proposed product offerings infused with hemp. We cannot predict the nature of any future laws, regulations, interpretations, or applications, nor can we determine what effect additional governmental regulations or administrative policies and procedures, when and if promulgated, could have on our business.


16

FDA’s current position is that the sale of food and beverages that contain hemp-derived cannabidiol or CBD is prohibited under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; therefore, if we decide to produce, market and/or sell beverages infused with hemp-derived cannabidiol, we may be subject to federal enforcement actions which could adversely affect our business and harm our reputation and brand.

FDA has jurisdiction over drugs and foods that contain CBD, including CBD derived from hemp. Under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act or the FDCA, it is a prohibited act to introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce any food (which the FDCA defines to include beverages) that is adulterated. The FDCA therefore prohibits the introduction or delivery for introduction of a food that contains CBD, because the FDCA deems a food to be adulterated if it bears or contains any food additive that is unsafe and CBD is presently an unsafe food additive under the FDCA and FDA regulations. The FDCA also states that it is a prohibited act to introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce any food to which an FDA-approved drug has been added, unless certain exceptions are met. FDA has approved a drug in which CBD is an active ingredient, and the agency has stated that based on available evidence, none of the exceptions apply to CBD. One of the exceptions addresses whether the drug was marketed in food before the FDA approved the drug and before the institution of any substantial clinical investigations involving the drug. FDA has stated that interested parties may present the agency with evidence that has bearing on the issue of whether CBD was marketed in food before the FDA approved the CBD drug in 2018 or before the institution of substantial clinical investigations involving the CBD drug. FDA’s current position is that this provision of the FDCA also prohibits the introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of a food to which CBD has been added.

Congress may decide to amend the FDCA to permit the use of hemp-derived CBD in food. FDA may also decide to issue regulations or guidance that address the use of hemp-derived CBD in food or use its enforcement discretion with respect to hemp-derived CBD products. On February 27, 2019, the FDA Commissioner stated that the agency is interested in hearing from Congress and stakeholders with respect to a regulatory framework for CBD products. Any legislative or regulatory action could take years to implement or finalize and may not include provisions that would enable our company to produce, market and/or sell hemp beverages that contain hemp-derived CBD. We risk becoming subject to adverse publicity and costly federal enforcement actions should we decide to product, market and/or sell beverages infused with hemp-derived CBD in the United States. We may be required to expend significant resources in defending our company from such actions which could adversely affect our business and results of operations and divert the attention of management. We may also incur the risk of sustaining considerable damage to our reputation and brand should we become party to federal enforcement actions resulting from the production, marketing or sale of hemp-derived CBD infused beverages.

Accordingly, if Congress amended federal laws or FDA issued regulations or guidance permitting the use of hemp-derived CBD in food or announcing the agency’s decision to use its enforcement discretion with respect to hemp-derived CBD products, we and our suppliers and vendors would be required to implement significant enterprise risk management measures to ensure that there is no commingling of CBD derived from marihuana, as “marihuana” is defined in the federal Controlled Substances Act, with any future commercial supply of hemp-derived CBD that is used to produce our products.


17

The FDA could force the removal of our products from the U.S. market.

The FDA has broad authority over the regulation of our products. The FDA could, among other things, force us to remove our products from the U.S. market, levy fines or change their regulations on advertising. Any adverse action by the FDA could have a material adverse impact on our business.

Government reviews, inquiries, investigations, and actions could harm our business or reputation.

As our product portfolio evolves, the regulatory environment with regard to our business is also evolving. Government officials often exercise broad discretion in deciding how to interpret and apply applicable laws or regulations. We may in the future receive formal and informal inquiries from various governmental regulatory authorities, as well as self-regulatory organizations or consumer protection watchdog groups, about our business and compliance with local laws, regulations, or standards. Any determination that our products, operations or activities, or the activities of our employees, contractors or agents, are not in compliance with existing laws, regulations or standards, could adversely affect our business in a number of ways. Even if such an inquiry does not result in the imposition of fines, interruptions to our business, loss of suppliers or other third-party relationships, terminations of necessary licenses and permits, or similar direct results, the existence of the inquiry alone could potentially create negative publicity that could harm our business and/or reputation.

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property

It is difficult and costly to protect our intellectual property.

Our commercial success will depend in part on obtaining and maintaining trademark protection and trade secret/know-how protection of our products and brands, as well as successfully defending that intellectual property against third-party challenges. We will only be able to protect our intellectual property related to our trademarks and brands to the extent that we have rights under valid and enforceable trademarks, know-how or trade secrets that cover our products and brands. Changes in either the trademark laws or in interpretations of trademark and laws in the U.S. and other countries may diminish the value of our intellectual property. Accordingly, we cannot predict the breadth of claims that may be allowed or enforced in our issued trademarks. The degree of future protection for our proprietary rights is uncertain because legal means afford only limited protection and may not adequately protect our rights or permit us to gain or keep our competitive advantage.

We may face intellectual property infringement claims that could be time-consuming and costly to defend, and could result in our loss of significant rights and the assessment of treble damages.

From time to time we may face intellectual property claims from third parties. Some of these claims may lead to litigation. The outcome of any such litigation can never be guaranteed, and an adverse outcome could affect us negatively. For example, were a third party to succeed on an infringement claim against us, we may be required to pay substantial damages (including up to treble damages if such infringement were found to be willful). In addition, we could face an injunction, barring us from conducting the allegedly infringing activity. The outcome of the litigation could require us to enter into a license agreement which may not be under acceptable, commercially reasonable, or practical terms or we may be precluded from obtaining a license at all. It is also possible that an adverse finding of infringement against us may require us to dedicate substantial resources and time in developing non-infringing alternatives, which may or may not be possible.

Finally, we may initiate claims to assert or defend our own intellectual property against third parties. Any intellectual property litigation, irrespective of whether we are the plaintiff or the defendant, and regardless of the outcome, is expensive and time-consuming, and could divert our management’s attention from our business and negatively affect our operating results or financial condition.


18

We may be subject to claims by third parties asserting that our employees or our company has misappropriated their intellectual property, or claiming ownership of what we regard as our own intellectual property.

Although we try to ensure that our company, our employees, and independent contractors (suppliers/vendors/distributors) do not use the proprietary information or know-how of others in their work for us, we may be subject to claims that our company, our employees, or independent contractors (suppliers/vendors/distributors) have used or disclosed intellectual property in violation of others’ rights. These claims may cover a range of matters, such as challenges to our trademarks, as well as claims that our employees or independent contractors are using trade secrets or other proprietary information of any such employee’s former employer or independent contractors. As a result, we may be forced to bring claims against third parties, or defend claims they may bring against us, to determine the ownership of what we regard as our intellectual property. If we fail in prosecuting or defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights or personnel. Even if we are successful in prosecuting or defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management.

Risks Related to Our Stock

Because we can issue additional shares of common stock, our stockholders may experience dilution in the future.

We are authorized to issue up to 200,000,000 shares of common stock and 100,000,000 shares of preferred stock, of which 34,670,179 shares of common stock are issued and outstanding, 1,500,000 shares of Series C Preferred Stock are issued and outstanding, and 3,800,000 shares of Series D Preferred Stock are issued and outstanding as of March , 2019. Our board of directors has the authority to cause us to issue additional shares of common stock and preferred stock, and to determine the rights, preferences and privileges of shares of our preferred stock, without consent of our stockholders. Consequently, the stockholders may experience more dilution in their ownership of our stock in the future.

Trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market or TSX Venture Exchange may be volatile, which could depress the market price of our common stock and make it difficult for our stockholders to resell their shares.

Our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market and the TSX Venture Exchange. Trading of our common stock may experience wide fluctuations in trading prices, due to many factors that may have little to do with our operations or business prospects. This volatility could depress the market price of our common stock for reasons unrelated to operating performance.

A prolonged and substantial decline in the price of our common stock could affect our ability to raise further working capital, thereby adversely impacting our ability to continue operations.

A prolonged and substantial decline in the price of our common stock could result in a reduction in the liquidity of our common stock and a reduction in our ability to raise capital. Because we plan to acquire a significant portion of the funds we need in order to conduct our planned operations through the sale of equity securities, a decline in the price of our common stock could be detrimental to our liquidity and our operations because the decline may cause investors not to choose to invest in our stock. If we are unable to raise the funds we require for all our planned operations and to meet our existing and future financial obligations, we may be forced to reallocate funds from other planned uses and may suffer a significant negative effect on our business plan and operations, including our ability to develop new products and continue our current operations. As a result, our business may suffer, and we may go out of business.


19

Because we do not intend to pay any cash dividends on our shares of common stock in the near future, our stockholders will not be able to receive a return on their shares unless they sell them.

We intend to retain any future earnings to finance the development and expansion of our business. We do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our common stock in the near future. The declaration, payment and amount of any future dividends will be made at the discretion of our board of directors, and will depend upon, among other things, the results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, operating and capital requirements, and other factors as the board of directors considers relevant. There is no assurance that future dividends will be paid, and if dividends are paid, there is no assurance with respect to the amount of any such dividend. Unless we pay dividends, our stockholders will not be able to receive a return on their shares unless they sell them.

Item 9.01 Financial Statements and Exhibits

(d)

Exhibits


99.1 The Alkaline Water Company Inc. March 2019 Presentation


20

SIGNATURES

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned hereunto duly authorized.

THE ALKALINE WATER COMPANY INC.

/s/ Richard A. Wright  
Richard A. Wright  
President, Chief Executive Officer and Director  

March 1, 2019