Look, I get the draw of writing an unpopular opinion piece for the internet. Some people get off on reading hateful comments left by fuming Dick's Sporting Goods managers from North Dakota. I am not one of those people, I just know what I like and I want everyone to agree with me — or at least question their own tastes. That being said, I think LaCroix Sparkling Water is made from garbage and caters to philistines. Join me as we go on a fun journey to find out why!
(Also, I don't have anything against Dick's Sporting Goods or North Dakota.)
The flavors are wrong — just wrong.
I understand the appeal of wacky, "cool" flavors. You never really see flavors like passion fruit, apricot and coconut associated with sparkling water. Usually those are reserved for their correlating fruit — or whatever the fuck a coconut is. However, dare I go out on a limb here and say that flavors like this shouldn't be sold alone on the shock factor?!
Have you ever seen toothpaste-flavored coffee? Or mayonnaise-scented perfume? No, because that'd be crazy, right? Right. Still, LaCroix pushes this flavors with no regard for social norms. I'm an old-fashioned guy when it comes to sustenance; I like my beer cold, my steak bloody and my seltzer water virtually tasteless. Obviously, LaCroix isn't the only sparkling water brand to make the leap from normal to outrageous flavors and I'll never forgive Polar for introducing Vanilla Pear.
Even the typical LaCroix flavors have their faults; they're overwhelming and saturate the tongue. Berry-flavored LaCroix tastes like a sweaty Ring Pop and pamplemousse reminds me of that one time I kissed my girlfriend not knowing she had vomited moments earlier.
It's popular because it's popular.
Like so much of what you find trending these days on Facebook, LaCroix is only popular because we (yes, us, you) have made it popular. As far as sparkling water goes, it's virtually identical to most of the other brands out there — sugar-free, calorie-free, and lightly flavored. The main difference? It's a meme. I blame Mary Choi's New York Times article and the ensuing army of Instagram "influencers" for posting can after can on social media.
You've made a powerful enemy, Mary Choi — also, please let me know if the New York Times is hiring because I'm really strapped for cash and this would finally impress my dad.
Nothing justifies tacky packaging.
While I may have nothing against the great state of North Dakota, Wisconsin is now on my Dick Nixon-brand shit list for birthing the tacky cans LaCroix reside inside. Compared to the packaging of LaCroix's competitors — Canada Dry, Polar, Hal's — LaCroix is a joke. It's a midwesterner wet dream; a sickening amalgamation of gauche and bland that screams mediocrity. You've got to be a real dick to drink something based on the packaging alone, but the sterile, 1980s self-help book cover aesthetic feels like a Nancy Reagan pipe dream.
The taste doesn't compare to the legacy brands on the market.
Shockingly, I'm not the kind of man who drinks Sanpellegrino or Perrier. In fact, I think those brands have their own shoddily organized list of faults, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Primarily, I go for Canada Dry, Seagram's or Hal's. Boy, is there a difference. Where Canada Dry is tastes like a cold winter's day, LaCroix reminds me of that muggy stillness before a freak thunderstorm. I don't know if I should sip it or nail boards to my windows.
What really gets me is the bubble situation — LaCroix's bubbles don't stand up to its competitors. Now, I'm no flavor scientist, but if they ever gave me the chance to take a stab at the C02 tanks, I'd add a barrage of bubbles that would absolutely punish the tongue and make each customer beg for their mommas with each drink. "Why do I keep on drinking this?!" they'd say.
I was there first! *pouts*
Finally, my most petty reason for disliking LaCroix: I've been drinking seltzer water since I was four. That's 25 years of drinking the good stuff. It's in my blood — and I'm not talking about that one time I sat on a bottle. As a proud Jew, I've proudly upheld the tradition of guzzling seltzer water and I will always boast that it's my drink of choice. Then LaCroix waltzes in and suddenly you've got scores of people suddenly claiming that this subpar beverage is "everything." It's not everything and I remember when you would spend all your shiny new quarters on Vitamin Water.
So, where does this leave us?
Right where we started — I'll forever uphold this opinion and shall continue refusing LaCroix. I wouldn't open a can of LaCroix even if I were dying in the Sahara and just finished a bag of pretzels. Where did the bag of pretzels come from anyway?!