Whakatane's Deep Origin sparkling water, or, more particularly, the bottle the sparkling water is housed in, tickled the fancies of a range of H20 purists at the 20th Annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Awards in the US recently, walking away with the silver medal in 'The People’s Choice Packaging' competition.
More than 200 water-loving humans watched the undoubtedly exciting events unfold as a dozen media judges from print, radio and the web spent hours tasting, swilling, spitting, sniffing, ogling and evaluating more than 125 different bottled waters from 24 US states and 10 foreign countries, including Brazil, China, Macedonia, Italy, Japan, Bosnia, Ecuador and, of course, New Zealand. Turns out the expert judges found that all the water tasted a little bit like liquid rocks.
Deep Origin, with its "teardrop-shaped bottle with two dimple grips making it a pleasure to pick-up" and "the debossed branding on the hip of the bottle and the ceramic printed label reflecting the brand’s simplicity, purity and product quality", came second to the crystal-encrusted bottle of Bling, from Los Angeles, a water that retails at a mere US$40+ per bottle.
Grenache Design conceived the glass bottle and Deep Origin founders Emmanuelle and Stephan Jelicich hope they can be both beautiful and sustainable. The bottles can be returned for a refund, before being washed, sterilized and refilled multiple times, thereby offering environmentally-minded restaurateurs and patrons a sparkling water that doesn’t produce too much packaging waste.
Of course, packaging design is a very important part of the marketing process and best practice should be recognised and celebrated. But, despite this, it's hard not to think about Penn and Teller's long but rather entertaining takedown of the bottled water industry in their show 'Bullshit' when imagining the awards night. And there's certainly no point mentioning that when Sweden took the helm of the EU, one of its first initiatives was to ban bottled water from EU meetings and instead use a combination of Swedish tap water and highly advanced soda stream technology.