Water is now the most consumed beverage in the country; 12.6-billion gallons' worth last year, according to research and consulting firm Beverage Marketing Corp. Premium brands are tapping into the demand by producing ever-more pristine, alkalizing, mineral-rich waters. Here are a few popping up on shelves. Just don't forget to recycle containers.
Singers Katy Perry and Ellie Goulding are investors in Core Hydration, a 2-year-old brand based in El Segundo whose water matches the body's ideal pH (power of hydrogen) level of 7.4. The domestically sourced liquid goes through a process that includes ultraviolet, carbon filtration and reverse-osmosis. The bottle comes with a cap, for sharing.
"People are looking for functional benefits in their water, whether it's minerals or electrolytes," said Eric Berniker, Core's chief marketing officer. The brand also launched a line of organic flavored waters at 5 calories per serving.
Cost: Priced from $1.59. Available at Albertsons, Sprouts Farmers Market, Bristol Farms,
The hundreds of acres of Fijian rainforest from which Savu is sourced "is certified organic and no chemicals have ever touched the soil," said company co-founder Sanjay Chadha. The rainforest is on Viti Levu, the country's main island. The water is said to come from an artesian aquifer (an underground layer of rock) in a remote and inaccessible area, filtered through ancient volcanic rocks and bottled at the source.
"People are realizing the quality of the water they drink is really important to their well-being," said Chadha. "It's its own segment of the market."
The water from Icelandic Glacial is filtered through lava rocks, which infuses it with alkalizing properties, said Reza Mirza, the brand's CEO. "There is this awareness that not all water is equal," he said. "Consumers today want to know a lot more about where their water comes from." The water is from the 5,000-year-old Olfus Spring, which is replenished by rainfall and snowmelt in the uninhabited area.
"The closer we stay to the natural state of things, the better for the body," he said.
Cost: From $1.49 at Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Market, Gelson's. icelandicglacial.com
In founding Flow water, Nicholas Reichenbach didn't have to venture too far: he tapped into his family-owned artesian spring in the remote woods of Bruce County in Ontario, Canada.
"A million liters of high-quality spring water naturally comes out of it every day," said Reichenbach. The limestone aquifer the water moves through naturally adds minerals to the liquid, which is then packaged into recyclable paperboard. "We use a UV light to kill any sediment and bacteria without compromising the mineral content," said Reichenbach.
Cost: From $1.49. Available at Bristol Farms. flowwater.com