Though there are all kinds of alcoholic drinks of the summer (none as good as a Negroni, sorry), this summer has seen the rise of a non-alcoholic summer beverage. LaCroix Sparkling Water has more or less shut the club down in terms of the hippest beverage to consume. The transition happened quietly, sometime in 2015, but has since exploded into prominence. The former beverage of health-conscious Midwestern moms has become the go-to soda for the Brooklyn blogger set. The New York Times ran a piece about it. Vox hopped on board. The Awl, Time Out New York, and Thrillist ranked its flavors. While it seemed like LaCroix was gaining steam earlier this year, it's now become the must-have beverage everywhere. There’s even a song about the carbonated water, by the rapper Rakeem. It’s, um...well, listen.
The beat kind of goes. And we have it stuck in our heads. Anyways. Here’s what you need to know about the beverage. First, it’s pronounced “la croy.” We had personally been guilty of saying “la cwah,” which is either French-sounding or demented. Either one. LaCroix was invented 1981 and named for its birth city of La Crosse and the nearby St. Croix River. Second, it’s gaining popularity because of the decline of soda. As the drawbacks to drinking soda become more and more obvious, people looked for an alternative. “LaCroix, a once-sleepy National Beverage Corp. regional brand, is afire with consumers nationwide because of what it doesn’t contain: calories, sweeteners, sodium or anything artificial. Its ingredients are just carbonated water and natural flavor,” the Wall Street Journal writes. Beware fad foods, naturally. Third, LaCroix is really cheap. And it’s everywhere. Look at these Whole Foods displays, with a special attention to the price. Broadly ran a whole photo series dedicated just to Brooklynites standing in front of the wall of beverages
Not bad for some not-bad-for-you flavor. Fourth, LaCroix doesn’t advertise. This is sort of like how Pabst Blue Ribbon rose to national hipster prominence. People noticed that it sucked roughly 10% less than its cheapo competitors. And the fact that nobody saw tasteless ads for their tasty drink made it seem like a little bit of underground cool. As with PBR, so LaCroix. Five, it looks cool. In 2010, National Beverage relaunched the can with '90s-style neon packaging that catches the eye. Really not much else to say. Color is good. So that’s pretty much what you need to know. We’re sure that, now that it’s popular, we’ll find out how it’s slowly killing us. But until then, drink up.