Okay, I admit it. I am a water snob. I am very particular about the water I drink. First, I prefer my water ice cold. It’s just a silly personal preference (though if I look it up, I might find some scientific reason for it). Second, I prefer only certain brands of bottled water.
You will probably tell me that bottled water is the same as what comes out of the tap, and that I probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. In fact, some bottled water does come “the tap.” Dasani brand, distributed by CocaCola, is purified tap water, cleaned through reverse osmosis and speckled with Minerals.
I have a delicate digestive system which succumbs to the effects of the natural and added ingredients in tap and well water. I can usually smell the difference – sometimes it’s a very earthy smell, other times, there’s a strong chlorine odor – but the true test is how much stomach feels within an hour or two of drinking or eating food created with such water.
I also have problems drinking mineral water. I used to be able to handle it. When I was a freshman in college, I had my first kidney stone, and my doctors ordered me to drink lots of water. My mom bought me cases of Evian – the really tall bottles at the time – with which to saturate my kidneys. However, I found that over the years, my stomach wasn’t too happy with mineral water.
Thankfully, there were all kinds of bottled water in the supermarkets, so I had choices. I finally settled on Spring water – Poland Spring – after drinking it exclusively at work because we had a water cooler. I also prefer my water really cold. Given my various health issues, the more water I can drink, the better. So If we have to pay a bit more for water that I can guzzle, I think it’s worth it. If I am somewhere where my only choice is to drink tap water, I will ask for lots of ice to at least help me with the taste. I won’t be rude to a waitress in a restaurant or to a hostess at her home; I just know that I might have some stomach problems later if I have no choice of what to drink.
I liked Poland Spring so much that my husband and I ended up getting a bubbler and began having water delivered monthly. Everyone in my house prefers Poland Spring, even the cats.
I kept trying to “go back” to tap water, more out of frugality than anything, but my gut didn’t like it. We had a well where we lived at the time, and I just couldn’t handle that water. It sounds crazy, but when your digestive system is as messed up as mine, you have to watch everything you put in there. Some stuff just doesn’t do well in my belly!
So as much of a snob I am, I am also appalled at what people will fall for in the sake of their image.
Remember my faithful old Evian, the mineral water? Yeah, it’s still around. I looked on Amazon, where you can find just about anything.
I found that you can buy Evian for about 11.5 cents an ounce. Here’s the math for you: 30.99 / 24 = $1.29 per bottle. Then 1.29 / 11.2 = 0.115, or 11.5 cents an ounce.
But now, Nordstrom’s (an upscale department store), offers Evian as a beauty item:
I again calculated the cost per ounce. 11.2 / 5 = $2.20 per ounce, and 16.50 / 10 = $1.65 per ounce. Wait a minute, there must be something special about the Evian Facial Water Spray. There is even an advertising campaign for this revolutionary product!
What is in this amazing new product engineered to make you feel sexy and vibrant yet relaxed at the same time?
I contacted Nordstrom’s via their customer service chat option to find out the ingredients. They told me that they had no idea what was in it, but that I could call a store directly. Not a fan of making phone calls, I googled “Evian Mineral Water Beauty Spray ingredients” and got this:
In case it isn’t obvious, there are only two ingredients in Evian Mineral Water Beauty Spray: Water and Gullibility.
I thought, nobody can be this ignorant, can they?? So I checked out the reviews.
“Quick Take” – non drying. Of course, it is, what do you think the opposite of water is?? NO WATER. Dry.
Thank the Lord we have someone with a few brain cells left, as shown in the following review:
“Its (sic) just water in aerosale (sic).”
The Advertising Game
I guess if someone slaps a pretty package on something and gives it a new name, people will be gullible enough to buy it. Just like the “newest” product by NyQuil – the “knock you out with alcohol so that you don’t care that you’re sick” medicine has come out with a “new” sleep aid, called ZZZ-Quil.
The magic “new” ingredient? Good old Benadryl, a.k.a. Diphenhydramine. It’s an old-time antihistamine, which people have been safely taking for years to help them sleep. There’s even a joke that parents make after they realized a sick kid slept better when taking Benadryl (if you don’t know it, ask me in the comments).
So thanks to some slick marketing and advertising company, gullible people are paying 25 cents a pill compared to 16.5 a pill for the same ingredient – Diphenhydramine Chloride 25mg. Sure, 10 cents may not seem like much, but if someone is taking a regular dose (1-2 tablets) every night to help them sleep, that adds up. Once you’re buying higher quantities such as you can get in the generic form of Diphenhydramine Chloride, you’re spending much, much more.
So before you buy, taste, touch, smell and use. Read the ingredients. I continue to drink Poland Spring because I love the taste, the convenience of using the bubbler, and because it doesn’t upset my stomach like most tap, well, or mineral waters do.
I am not knocking choices made on brand awareness, but make sure you read the labels and are making conscious choices. You can’t rely on any of these companies to do it for you!