It was only a few years ago that designer handbags, watches and cars were the hottest items on the luxury collector’s list. Now, there’s a growing demand for luxury water aimed at clientele with high-end lifestyles. In fact, a recent study from consulting firm Zenith Global showed that the market for high-priced water brands is growing by 9% a year, and is currently valued at US $147 billion.
Far from your regular grocery store supply, luxury water brands are going the extra mile, quite literally, to find unique sources of water (harvested from melting polar icebergs or bottled from untouched natural springs) to develop different carbonations, colours, and tastes to the regular drinking experience. There’s now also an increased demand for water sommeliers. These individuals know all about the various filtering processes and the best combinations to pair certain kinds of water with specific meals and dishes. Often packaged in artful and extravagant bottles, luxury water is not to be compared with your regular morning sips, but rather savoured on a special occasion.
Here in Dubai, the Japanese restaurant Yui even has a water menu for discerning palates. Offering patrons a choice of 17 different brands, you can indulge in a range of rare water options, including Waiwera from New Zealand and Italy’s Oxygizer. Beside every bottle of water, the restaurant has also displayed counts for total dissolved solids, sodium, magnesium and calcium – so you know exactly what you’re getting with your water.
MOJEH.com spoke exclusively to Anette Friman, CEO of Åre Natural Mineral Water, to find out why there’s such a demand for luxury water and how it differs from what you get straight out of the tap.
How does luxury water differ to regular water?
Luxury water differs a lot between brands. For us, luxury water is clean, pure water filtered by nature and filled in a luxury bottle. Regular water or tap water is often cleaned with chemicals and filtered through mechanical filters. We see that as “killing” the water.
What makes Åre water unique?
Åre Natural Mineral Water has a very low content of nitrates which indicates the purity of the water and it naturally contains 85% oxygen. The water is tapped directly from a well-protected underground source in Sweden and is filtered through layers of rock and sand created during the ice age. Our water is also certified natural, meaning nothing has been removed or added, except carbonic acid in the sparkling water and natural aromas in some products.
Given that a lot of luxury water comes directly from Mother Nature without being treated, is it safe?
Yes it is safe as water filtered by nature is what our bodies are designed for, processing minerals in the best possible way.
Is luxury water sustainable?
Bottled water has a very small impact on the environment compared to other beverages. One litre of water is one litre of water, whereas one litre of soda takes at least 9 litres of water.
Does luxury water taste different to regular water?
There is definitely a big difference between different waters. If you think water tastes just like water, you haven’t tried enough.
Are there any benefits to drinking luxury water?
The benefits of drinking natural mineral water is that it’s highly controlled and the ingredients are stated on the label. You have full control over what you drink.
Why do you think luxury water has become so popular?
People are becoming a lot more aware of what they eat and drink and they no longer want all those added nasties you find in most other food and beverages.