A Croixparison: how do other brands stack up the taste of the original?



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LaCroix may be the most popular sparkling water in the United States, but it has stiff competition.  Sarah Verschoor Buy Photos

Yep, I’m one of those millennials obsessed with LaCroix. Obsessed enough to carry a cooler full back to Bloomington after a trip home in September and stupid enough to pause in Kroger each week grocery shopping and wonder if $3.99 for eight cans of fruity sparkling water is really worth it. (It is, by the way.)

The quintessential LaCroix flavor in my book is lime, maybe only rivaled by its trusted counterpart lemon. Every sip tastes like savory sparkling water with a squeeze of lime wedge. It is your mom’s favorite flavor, inoffensive to your Coca-Cola loving aunt and your nerdy cousin’s secret obsession. 

By far, the best part about the Croix is its simplicity. The flavor is natural and pure, and the more than 20 flavors are a wide enough variety to pair with any snack or meal. But, and this may come as a shock to some fans, there are other types of sparkling water besides LaCroix. I tried a few competing brands to see if their versions of lime sparkling water could rival the ease of a lime LaCroix. 

Bargain Brand: ALDI’s Pur Aqua Belle Vie Lime Sparkling Water 

This lime imposter insulted my taste buds. I took the first sip, and I wondered if I was drinking windshield wiper fluid. While the fizz was appropriate, the flavor was all off. It was syrupy, a big no-no. Hey, I appreciate a good bargain. Kroger brand sparkling water ain’t half bad. But this one just completely missed the mark in terms of flavor and long-term (entire can) enjoyability. 

Mr. Fancy Pants: Lime Perrier 

Look, I get it. Perrier has an appeal to those of us out there who enjoy the finer things.

I didn’t know what to expect, taste testing a luxury brand sparkling mineral water. But what I got was wood chips. This tasted like literal wood chips to me. And no before you ask, I don't have some twisted childhood story about eating wood chips. It's just what I can surmise from being a human with senses. 

I think the people at Perrier took the mineral in mineral water maybe a little too literally. If there’s a redeeming quality, it leaves a pleasant taste of lime in your mouth after a sip. But that might be it with this one. 

Wildcard pick: CVS's Gold Emblem Tangerine Lime sparkling water

I really admired the ambition of a tangerine and lime combo. I was excited to try a mixed up flavor. But boy the combo was all off. The tangerine was strong, and the lime just did not vibe with it. It was like two people doing the tango, only with five feet of seperation between them. It just didn’t work. It also tastes substantially more syrupy than LaCroix, even though the package says there are zero sugars. This, my friends, was a let down. 

The takeaway

This wasn't scientific. It was a sample size of three. But what did I learn from all of this? Well, I’m a snob. I'm LaCroixalist, plain and simple, just like the drink. 

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