Chances are you drink LaCroix Sparkling Water on a regular basis. But just how much do you know about this popular beverage? Keep reading to learn some very interesting facts about LaCroix.
10. It’s Pronounced La-CROY
It sounds French, but it’s actually a mashup of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, the town where the beverage was founded, and St. Croix, the river that runs along the state’s western border.
DID YOU KNOW?
The French colonized Wisconsin beginning in the 17th century and played an important economic role there in the 17th and 18th centuries. As a result, many Wisconsin towns have French names. These include Des Plaines, Porte des Morts, Montreal, Marquette, Allouez, Prairie du Sac, and Vieux Desert.
9. It Was First Manufactured at a Brewery
LaCroix Sparkling Water was founded in 1981 at the G. Heileman Brewing Company in Wisconsin, though the fizzy beverage never contained any alcohol. It was acquired by Seattle-based WinterBrook Beverage Group in 1992, and in 1996 Florida-based National Beverage Corporation, the parent company of the Shasta soft drink line, bought it from Winterbrook.
DID YOU KNOW?
Heileman relaunched LaCroix in the early 90s in an attempt to market to consumers who weren’t interested in the Perrier brand’s “snobbish, expensive, for special occasions” positioning.
8. It Makes a Good Cocktail
Speaking of alcohol, did you know that LaCroix makes a good cocktail–err, mocktail? In fact, they’ve published a list of cocktail recipes on their website. For example, there’s the Miami Mama Mocktail, which is made with 4 ounces of LaCroix Cran-Raspberry Sparkling Water, 3 ounces of pink lemonade or calorie-free lemon juice, and 4 ounces of cranberry or white cranberry juice cocktail. And, then there’s the Mimosa Mocktail, which is made with 4 ounces of Orange LaCroix Sparkling Water, 2 ounces of fresh-squeezed orange juice, and 1 ounce of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice. The directions for both concoctions are simple: Just pour and stir!
7. It’s Very Popular
Especially among health-conscious millennials, who prefer it to soda. A major selling point for LaCroix is that it’s calorie- and sodium-free and doesn’t contain artificial flavors. As a result, LaCroix became the fastest growing all-natural sparkling water beverage in the U.S., the Lala Media Group reported in 2017. In April 2016, Forbes reported that the drink’s popularity made its parent company the fourth largest branded soft drinks company in the U.S. and its CEO, Nick Caporella, a billionaire. Its annual sales were at about $650 million, and its stock surged 80 percent from April 2015 to April 2016.
6. There are Two Other Beverages in the LaCroix Family
LaCroix Cúrate (cure yourself) is “inspired by the zest the French and Spanish have for life” and, therefore, has a stronger flavor and bolder aroma than the original LaCroix brand. Cúrate comes in flavors like Kiwi Watermelon, Pineapple Strawberry, Cherry Lime, and Apple-Berry.
NiCola by LaCroix is for people who love the taste of cola but not the negative health consequences associated with it. NiCola comes in only one flavor–LaCola. According to the company, the beverage is the first of its kind and is totally guilt-free, with no calories, sweeteners, or sodium.
5. It Might be Bad for Your Teeth
Sparkling water contains carbon dioxide (CO2), and once CO2 enters your body, it turns into carbonic acid. This acid can wear away tooth enamel. André Ritter, at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, told USA TODAY that those who drink sparkling water on a regular basis are the most at risk for enamel erosion.
But, if you ask Dr. Edmond Hewlett, a professor at UCLA’s School of Dentistry and a consumer adviser for the American Dental Association, he’ll tell you that there’s no evidence to indicate that sparkling water is harmful to tooth enamel. The acidity in sparkling water is far less than that found in sodas, sports drinks, and citrus juices, and those drinks cause way more damage to tooth enamel, Hewlett told U.S. News & World Report.
Meanwhile, Damien Walmsley, a professor of dentistry at the University of Birmingham in England, told The Atlantic last year that sparkling water theoretically can cause tooth erosion, but that the erosion would most likely come from long-term consumption. “My advice is to keep acidic drinks to meal times, and if you have to sip drinks between meals, then plain water is the safest,” he said.
Lastly, Andrew Swiatowicz, a dentist in Wilmington, Delaware, told The Atlantic that the average healthy person needn’t worry about sugar-free carbonated beverages causing cavities. “If you are at all concerned, you can always dilute the carbonated water with regular water, or even just swish with regular water after,” he said.
4. It Can Cause You to Gain Weight
Carbonated beverages can trigger the production of the hormone ghrelin, which increases our appetite and signals to us to eat more, thus leading to weight gain. A study published in the journal Obesity Research and Clinical Practice found that rats that consumed carbonated beverages ate more and gained more weight over time than those that drank non-carbonated beverages or plain water. And, researchers from Birzeit University in the Palestinian West Bank conducted a study that found that humans who drank sparkling water for breakfast had six times as much ghrelin in their bodies as those who had plain water.
3. Its Cans Could Contain BPA
BPA, or Bisphenol A, is an industrial chemical used in certain plastics and resins to protect food and drink against metal contamination. It’s been used in food packaging since the 60s, but scientists say that exposure to BPA can cause all sorts of health problems, especially in unborn babies, infants and children. Still, LaCroix contends that its products meet guidelines set forth by the Food and Drug Administration and are, therefore, harmless. “In addition, plastic bottled water and soft drink containers are made from a plastic known as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which does not contain BPA,” the company said on its website.
2. Its Parent Company is Being Sued
National Beverage Corporation, LaCroix’s parent company, is being sued for allegedly using cockroach insecticide as an ingredient. According to Louisiana law firm Beaumont Costales, who’s filing the lawsuit on behalf of several customers, claims that testing showed the all-natural beverages actually contained synthetic ingredients. The lawsuit, which was obtained by CBS, states: “LaCroix in fact contains ingredients that have been identified by the Food and Drug Administration as synthetic. These chemicals include limonene, which can cause kidney toxicity and tumors; linalool propionate, which is used to treat cancer; and linalool, which is used in cockroach insecticide.” The company denies the allegations.
Meanwhile, National Beverage Corporation’s CEO, was facing two lawsuits this summer for allegedly sexually harassing two pilots. According to CNBC, the two pilots claimed that Caporella touched them inappropriately on several business trips between 2014 and 2016. Caporella’s attorney denied the allegations, calling them “scurrilous.”
1. Its Lawyers Served a Cease-and-Desist Order to Joe Mande
Joe Mande, writer, actor and stand-up comedian, was served a cease-and-desist order by National Beverage Corporation’s lawyers in early 2014. The Parks and Recreation star was claiming to be LaCroix’s unofficial spokesperson. According to an interview Mande did with Vice magazine in 2015, LaCroix was supposedly in on it until Mande made an inappropriate joke onstage about Senator Ted Cruz. “People in the audience started tweeting what I said, and that started a Twitter campaign to boycott LaCroix because people didn’t understand what ‘unofficial’ [spokesperson] meant,” he told Vice. That’s when LaCroix sent him a letter telling him that he could no longer claim to be their spokesperson. “I wrote them back and said, ‘I’m the best thing that ever happened to you. Now it’s my mission to destroy LaCroix’,” he told Vice. Mande says he no longer drinks LaCroix.
Do you drink LaCroix Sparkling Water? What’s your favorite flavor? What do you like most about it? Do you hate it? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!