Next time you visit your convenience store, look closer at the beverage section. Have you checked the water?
Sure, your fitness friends are sipping coconut water, touting the drink’s low carbohydrate count and high potassium value. Maybe you’ve heard of maple water — unreduced pasteurized tree sap — being sold at places like Trader Joe’s at $2.99 for 32 ounces. Its cousin is Switchel, a maple and apple water primarily from Vermont.
Other health-conscious producers are flooding the market with cactus water, artichoke water and chocolate-mint water. They’re packaged in sleek ultra-modern plastic bottles and air-filled pouches — the kind that held your Yoo-hoo chocolate drink back in elementary school.
These flavored waters — peaking now after trending slowly for five years — are being marketed to millennials eager to get fit while looking hopelessly hip. Manufacturer True Nopal says its cactus water can be mixed into a fun and fruity cocktail. Its advertising model is a thin millennial woman stranded in the desert with her cactus water. Care to join her?
Then there’s alkaline water, developed in Japan and sold publicly since the 1990s. One leader in alkaline water production is blk., whose website is decidedly millennial-focused, with an Instagram feed of smiling 20- and 30-somethings drinking their concoctions high in fulvic acid and electrolytes.
This peaking flavored-water trend is just another extension of the clean-food movement we predicted nearly 20 years ago. Of course, you can’t get much cleaner than actual non-flavored regular water. But even that is getting a makeover thanks to Boxed Water is Better, which makes — you guessed it — boxed water.
Boxed Water is Better claims that 76 percent of its box (resembling a milk carton) is made of trees. Moreover, its foldable cartons mean a significantly reduced carbon footprint, according to the company’s website.