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ibstubro's avatar

Whatever happened to the ready availability of sparkling/fizzy water (think Perrier) at retail outlets offering cold bottled beverages?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) March 22nd, 2016

Several years back when Perrier was in their heyday, it seemed like fizzy water was as popularly available as plain water is today.
Where did it go?

In the Midwest USA I might, maybe, occasionally see Perrier for sale at a convenience shop. Usually that’s only if I’m traveling, and the outlet is on an interstate. Spot check of about 5 local outlets had no fizzy water.

I prefer sparking water over anything, and it’s not available. Some of the newer fountains seem to offer plain carbonated water. I hope it’s a trend!

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30 Answers

jca's avatar

Here it’s called seltzer water, and it’s in all grocery stores. There are also flavored varieties.

zenvelo's avatar

It’s all over the place. I get San Pellegrino most places, or Crystal Geyser. Sometimes I get Saratoga water.

You just need to look more closely.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I haven’t noticed a shortage. Personally I hate the stuff. I’d just rather have chilled tap water. Keep the fizz.

ibstubro's avatar

I’m not wanting warm, flavored, seltzer from the grocery in liter bottles.
There are also usually a few unflavored (imported) options at Big Lots, but in large, warm bottles.

There is no such thing as grab-and-go ( <20 oz.,Quick Stop) cold carbonated water in my area. I have looked. Regionally.
I bet I have checked 25–30 outlets in the Midwestern US without seeing a single bottle.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

A quick look shows that Target and Walmart in Missouri claim to stock Perrier water. It’s owned by Nestle now. I like to try all brands. I like Pelligrino’s blue bottle. It looks nice on the table. I sometimes drink quinine water with lemon or lime. I find the bitterness and burn from the carbonation refreshing. On hot days, like temps and humidity in the high 90’s, a cola goes down like thick, sweet syrup and clogs my throat like peanut butter. Not refreshing at all. Iced water, whether effervescent or not, is the only thing that can quench me on days like that.

ibstubro's avatar

Grrr. @Espiritus_Corvus.

I can buy fizzy water for home.
At one time Perrier was available in every quick stop, but it seems to have disappeared in my region.

JLeslie's avatar

Interesting. I don’t drink the stuff so I’m not very aware, but I feel like I can’t remember seeing it in convenience stores. I’m going to watch for it and report back. I’ll let you know if FL and the places I travel have a different selection.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Maybe people are coming to their senses? Why would anyone want to buy water bottled and shipped from halfway around the world? It’s a terrible idea.

JLeslie's avatar

It doesn’t have to be foreign bubbly water. We make it here in the US too.

Pachy's avatar

I have no difficulty finding various brands of bottled fizzy water at supermarkets or convenience stores here. I have a soda maker which I love, but I like to buy bottles too. I always keep one on my bedside table for dry throat.

ibstubro's avatar

Thanks, @JLeslie, for responding to the question.

jca's avatar

I’m going to check next time I’m at a local grocery store.

Was @JLeslie the only person who answered the question?

JLeslie's avatar

You’re welcome. I think @Pachy understood the Q also.

Doesn’t Jaxk own a convenience store? I’ll send the Q to him. I don’t know if it’s attached to a gas station or free standing?

ibstubro's avatar

Do you buy fizzy water at convenience stores, specifically, @Pachy? It wasn’t clear to me – your usage seemed to be at home.

I don’t know of a time soda water wasn’t available at the grocery, @jca. I used a lot of it in the 80’s, making my own pop with seltzer and frozen fruit juice concentrate.

Good idea, @JLeslie.
I also sent it to @Dutchess_III because she’s Midwestern too.

Cupcake's avatar

I don’t usually see cold, plain fizzy water (my little ones call it fuzzy water), but Wegmans grocery stores usually have a few different flavored carbonated water beverages (unsweetened) in the cooler at the checkout aisles.

The hospital where I work has two flavors of unsweetened carbonated water in the cooler near checkout, but I don’t think we have plain either.

Interesting. I’ll keep my eyes out.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@dappled_leaves ~ You said, _“Maybe people are coming to their senses? Why would anyone want to buy water bottled and shipped from halfway around the world? It’s a terrible I think I love you!! Thank you thank you thank you. This is one of those “fads” that started in the 0’s, for no good reason other than marketers knew many of us would be dumb enough to fall for the brainwashing of how “bad” our tap water is, and they could make a killing off the ignorance.
And they have.

jca's avatar

@ibstubro: I’m sorry that I didn’t know that you know seltzer water is available in grocery stores.

Jaxk's avatar

I just got the question and here in Cal it isn’t a big seller. We carry Perrier but that’s about all. as a convenience store, it is in the cooler. We’re more designed for single unit service. I can’t give you any volume off the top of my head other than it’s small.

ibstubro's avatar

Thanks, @Jaxk.
That really surprises me.
I know I’m not able to buy fizzy water at quick stops here in the Midwest, but I thought maybe that was just regional. I honestly asked the question expecting people to say it was available on the coasts.

It’s schizo. I cannot buy bottled fizzy water at the quick stops, but at the same time the newest quick stops here are offering plain carbonated water as a fountain option.

ibstubro's avatar

Sorry, @jca, @zenvelo, @Espiritus_Corvus, @dappled_leaves & @Dutchess_III.

I guess the question depended too much on the details.

When Perrier became popular in the US, it seemed like everyone jumped on the wagon, and there were as many brands of fizzy water at the quick stops as there are regular bottled water (which I do not buy) today.
Today, in the Midwestern US, I’m no longer able to buy fizzy water at quick stops. Occasionally, one might offer Perrier, but no other alternatives.
Conversely, the trend is to offer carbonated water from the newest of the fountain soda machines. I thought perhaps carbonated water was still popular at convenience stores in more progressive, populated areas (the coasts), and that was driving the fountain availability.

Perrier was a well known example of a fizzy/bubbly/sparkling water bottled for individual retail ready-to-drink sales, not a part of the question.

Jaxk's avatar

@ibstubro – The fact that (at least in my area) it is a very low volume item, it makes it very difficult to carry much of a selection. In past years it may have been more popular which would account for the availability. Making it available on the soda counter is extremely easy and requires no shelf space or inventory. Not to mention the soda fountain margins are much better. I could offer sparkling water on the soda fountain and not have it cost anything other than the initial set-up. But if I want to sell bottled water, I need to find space in the cooler and it has to sell better than the item I replaced. Otherwise it’s gone. Cooler space is a premium and soda fountain space is virtually free.

Cupcake's avatar

I might be misunderstanding, but providing fizzy water (as well as tap water) from a fountain is as easy as pie. The fizzy water is what is used to mix with the soda concentrate to make soda… so it’s easily available. On older machines, it’s usually found with a tab under one of the soda options. Likewise, the water is used to mix with the juice concentrate and is usually available as a tab under the juice.

ibstubro's avatar

That’s cool, @Jaxk! I hope more outlets choose to set up for carbonated water. I ordered it at Sonic the other day and when the guy brought it out he said, “Here’s your carbonated water. I just got back from Europe and it seems like everybody asks for it there!” That might be part of the appeal.
Conversely, I doubt fountain will gain in popularity much, because they charge like water…a few cents for the cup, only.

No, no. You got it, @Cupcake. The only two places I know of that offer carbonated water at the fountain are brand new. It could be coincidence, but I don’t know of another place that offers it at fountain.
It seems the trend is also away from allowing plain water to come from the fountain, as well. Discourages people getting a water cup and stealing pop, and encourages buying the pop at a premium. There is a local chain that only allows water from a small, in-counter, prep sink.

Jaxk's avatar

@ibstubro – I don’t have it at the soda fountain (never had anybody ask for it) but if I did it would cost the same as any other soda. Frankly there is no way to tell the difference between sparkling water and any other clear soda. The soda fountain is self serve so it doesn’t matter what’s in the cup, it all costs the same.

ibstubro's avatar

It depends on the outlet, here, @Jaxk.
Typically a cup of ice is anywhere from free to full price, and water is free – carbonated or not. One of the 2 places I know of where fountain fizzy water it available charges 25¢ for a 32 oz. cup, water free.
Bring your own cup and ice+water is free everywhere I know of. If there is an available water source.

I know all this because (yeah, I’m cheap, but) I don’t drink sugared soda, and I don’t drink caffeine after noon. I hate the waste (and expense) of bottled water, and I really don’t have a taste for it. I drink a lot of plain carbonated water at home.

zenvelo's avatar

@ibstubro Yes, I understood your question. I prefer sparkling mineral water (like Perrier) and look for that all the time.

I am able to get different brands at 7–11’s, at gas stations, at all the lunch places near my work. Just this evening I had a choice of three types of sparkling mineral water at the “to go” food place at Newark Airport.

So maybe it just doesn’t sell week in the Midwest, but is readily available in San Francisco and New York.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Has anyone ever filled a re-fill cup with what they thought was regular water at a convenience store fountain, only to find it was carbonated water when they take a drink? OMG! So gross! It’s like…taking a drink of chocolate milk and as you swallow it you realize it isn’t chocolate milk, it’s Dr. Pepper! DP makes me gag anyway.

ibstubro's avatar

I was in the St. Louis burbs today, @zenvelo, and I checked a couple of quick stops on the interstate and there wasn’t a single brand available.
None from the fountain, either.
I expect areas with more international traffic have it available.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Just ask ‘em to go in the back, unplug the carbonated water hose that feeds into the tank where it mixes with the soft drink syrup, and fill it up from the hose! ~ :D

ibstubro's avatar

Pharmacies seem to be a good place to buy single-serve, cold bottles of fizzy water, if anyone is interested.
I was in both CVS and Walgreen’s today, and they both had 2 brands on hand.

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