A few months ago, if you looked in the fridge at work, you might find a common smattering of cokes, bottled iced coffees, and maybe a sprite or two. Now there’s only one thing — it comes in a pastel can, and you can’t pronounce the name: La Croix.
Suddenly, you begin hearing cans cracking open with a signature hiss, you can’t escape it at the grocery store, it’s in your fridge, it’s in your hand… you’re drinking it right now.
We’ve all experienced this phenomenon within the last year. And I’d take a guess to say that I’m right, you really do have a box in your fridge right now. And while we’re all drinking the Pamplemousse Kool-aid, no one has stopped to ask: How? Why? What? So I looked into it to try and uncover some answers, and I have the first right here:
How to Pronounce It
La Croix rhymes with enjoy. There. Mystery ended.
It’s not La Crocks, or as those fancy people try to say, La Cwah. But if you still don’t like any of these pronunciations you can use my other accurate name “La Crack.”
Because it’s crack.
Why so popular?
Yes, we can all agree it tastes good. But the crack has been around since 1981, so the surge in popularity is very recent. And no one can quite agree why. So the best answer is probably a combination of factors.
We’re health Conscious
It’s no longer simply considered healthy if it’s got a “Zero Cals” slapped onto it. We’re at a time where we’re all looking for a better alternative to soda. Unless we’re at the movies and they do that coke ad with the ice and the fizzing.
We all went through our pack-a-day addiction to diet coke, then tried out vomit water, I mean, vitamin water, and even went straight cold-water, no flavor (trying to encourage ourselves with cute refillable bottles). None of it worked. And an in a rom-com worthy ending, we realized that La Croix has been there for us, all this time, waiting in the wings.
And we’ve fallen hard. The Washington Post reported that since 2009, sales have jumped from $65 million in 2010 to $226 million in 2015 and La Croix is now the number one flavored water in the U.S. Meanwhile, soda sales have consistently plummeted over the past 10 years.
“Millennial Career Women”
I’d just like to say that this is not my own description. My own description would be something like Boss Bitches Who Just Want Something That Tastes Good.
If you think about it, you haven’t seen any ads for La Croix, it’s not really in your face. Instead of traditional media, The La Crack Company pays bloggers and instagrammers for sponsored media posts.
(Also, not a sponsored post right here. I’m too lowly to live that life.)
Anyway their lack of traditional media is what we’re supposed to like about it. We feel like we’ve discovered La Croix. It’s just our little known vice, and we share the secret with friends and family.
Who knew that the best advertising campaign would actually be no campaign? Though at first I kind of doubted that this was really the reason La Croix has become so popular, I began to think back to the beginning of my induction into the sparkling water underground.
I was at work, and noticed a female co-worker had THREE empty cans on her desk. I had seen the cans before a few times, and I began my questioning about the name. She had no idea how to say it, but gushed about how La Croix was now her lifeblood to help her get through her proofreading job. “It feels like I’m drinking a beer at work.” Sounds awesome, I thought, but crushing through three still seemed like a lot.
Then one day the work mini-fridge was magically full of Dasani sparkling water, berry flavored. I grabbed one, headed to my desk, and popped it open. A routine I would begin for the next week. I immediately beat out my coworker’s 3 drink record. And then, as suddenly as it appeared, the tall silver cans were gone.
My next trip to the grocery store, I made a foray into the water aisle and (with no Dasani in sight) I picked up some Berry La Croix and the rest is history.
I was inducted into the club. Dasani Sparkling, Aquafina Sparkling -- or any other water brand that tries to diversify will never have "The Club." There’s something about the exclusivity, the subtlety of flavor in La Croix that no other brand can achieve. I don’t want Grape Soda, I want a sparkly drink that tastes like a single berry might’ve taken a quick dip inside, leaving behind neither sugar nor calories.
Anyway I still have one mystery left to uncover.
That Can Design
The design of the can itself is both ugly and endearing. The pastel colors mix with the look of 90’s So-Cal beach wear to create a design as confusing as the origin of the drink itself.
I know we millennials are supposed to have a love of retro products, so maybe that’s the reason we embrace the can. That, or we are similar to Pavlov’s dogs, salivating at anything that reminds us of our midday crack, fizz, and sip.
Whatever the reason, we can all cheers to La Croix for now, and take pleasure in the 15 minutes of solace we get from chugging some flavored sparkling water.