Published in: Sunday Magazine (March 18, 2007). Copyright Sarah Ayoub 2007
Drinking tap water doesn’t seem to cut it anymore, now that the bottled stuff is said to offer us untold health benefits, stress relief and even a source for the fountain of youth. In our ultra health-conscious society, bottles of impurity-free spring and mineral water are sold in every corner shop and vending machine. Step into a supermarket and the dizzying array of choice – herbal, boysenberry infused, ultra-pure distilled, Irish classic mineral, even water to calm pets – is enough to make you grab a can of Coke instead.
According to Choice Magazine, Australians are spending up big on the life-sustaining bottled liquid: a whopping $123 million a year. But Choice’s senior food policy officer, Clare Hughes, reveals that about half of this is attributed to the convenience and portability of a plastic bottle. Maybe that’s because public fountains are not only few and far between but, we think they’re full of germs.
Jumping on the bottle bandwagon, Martin Chalk, co-director of Balance Water, says he researched the soothing effects of flower essences on the emotions when he released Balance Water for Women, Balance Water for Traveling and Balance Water for Kids,products that he claims will help people deal with the stresses of life.
And just as they dominate many of our trends and choices, celebrities lead the way in water fashions, sporting their Fuji and Evian bottles as if they’re the latest designer trends. Taking advantage of this is American brand Penta Water, which promises an “ultra-purified drinking experience”. Now available here (it’s the water of choice on Australia’s The Biggest Loser), Penta is endorsed by American talk-show host Ellen Degeneres, who says it’s so good, she “would bathe in it”.
Fair enough, but no matter what they choose to do with the water, people just love buying it. Seems the message is in the bottle.