The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

March 23, 2013

Ojanpa: Water is the new Coke -- for now



But a funny thing happened along the soda companies’ paths to profiting mightily from water: Their soda sales went down due to the uptick in water sales.

But these companies are nothing if not adaptable. They simply began selling “unsoda,” which essentially is flavored sweet water marketed as more healthy than soda. Then they added fizz to the stuff because Americans love their fizzy drinks.  

They gave the stuff names like “Fruitwater,” which contains not one iota of fruit juice, and “Vitaminwater,” which sounds pretty healthy even though it contains nearly as much sugar as a can of Coke.

What’s more, health-water-loving Americans will soon be able to buy a $3,900 Samsung refrigerator that dispenses soda water from the same mechanism that doles out water and ice.

One small step for soda water, one giant leap for the eventual dispensing of soda pop straight from your fridge’s door.

So who’s really in control of this water-over-pop trend, them or us?


Brian Ojanpa is a Free Press staff writer. Call him at 344-6316 or email


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