Vichy Catalan

The rugged scenery and landscape of Caldes de Malavella in Cataluna, Spain has inspired visitors and health-seekers for millennia. Beneath this uniquely picturesque terrain are mineral water springs, none more famous than the legendary Vichy Catalán. The photo below looks toward the nearby city of Girona

The Roman legions, ever on the prowl for curative baths and spas, discovered a real winner in the rocky Spanish area south of the Pyrenees near the French border. It was special enough that they dug in, dug down, and built up an entire system of baths and recuperative facilities. The remnants of those ancient spas remain today as a tribute to Vichy Catalán, pictured here, which has been legendary among European mineral waters ever since.

Fast-forward through the centuries to the modern origin of the now internationally famous brand. The first few decades of its modern history begin in 1852, when Doctor Modest Furest y Roca, trained in medicine and surgery at the University of Barcelona, got involved. He was responsible for connecting the most advanced scientific thinking of his time with the mystique surrounding the ancient waters of Caldes de Malavella. In 1880-81 he purchased the property that included the renown thermal springs. Within a few years, his aim of building a "modern" spa establishment became a reality. The waters were declared a public utility by Royal Order in 1883, and their use in bottled form was registered.

Much modernization has transpired since the 19th century, but the two photos below which are nearly a hundred years apart testify to the brand's continuity and pedigree.

In 1990, Grupo Vichy Catalán was created, consisting of the companies S.A. Vichy Catalán and Malavella S.A, both located in Caldes de Malavella (Girona). Vichy had the distinction of being selected as the water for the XXVth Olympic Games at Barcelona in 1992.
With an astonishing 3,052 milligrams per liter of Total Dissolved Solids (the highest of any water sold by Aqua Maestro), there's nothing by way of minerals and salts missing in Vichy - except Nitrates, which are splendidly near ZERO. You get plenty of Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, Bicarbonate, Fluoride, and Silica in this medicinal potion. Silica, for example, is at 76.8 mg/l, typical of all the other high levels.

Water in the News
Breaking News….
You can still get your imported Italian waters. The looming tariff we have reported on for the last few months seems to have been averted. After numerous delays, the EU has agreed to increase (quadruple) their quota of imported American hormone-free beef. In return, the US dropped the proposed tariff increases on Italian mineral water, as well as 34 other imported items from Irish oatmeal to French Roquefort cheese.

The Battle Wages On
We have reported on many State and City municipalities which are taxing or proposing taxes on water bottles, or plastic beverage containers. The battle just moved to higher political grounds when, according to a recent NY Times article, House Democrats, Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Jim Moran (D-Va.), introduced two bills recently aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions and curbing toxic pollution by requiring a national 5-cent deposit on beverage containers and imposing a 5-cent tax on single-use plastic bags from grocery stores and other retailers.

Tom Lauria, spokesman for the International Bottled Water Association, said Markey was tackling the problem the wrong way. "Water bottles are one-third of 1 percent of the waste stream," he said. “….bottled water customers try to recycle, noting that water bottles are the single most recycled product in the plastic waste stream as measured by curbside recycling.”

Angela Logomasini, the director of risk and environmental policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, slammed the deposit as a tax. She has headed up the conservative think tank's efforts to dispel consumer worries about bottled water safety and environmental impact. "A tax is a tax," Logomasini said. "I don't see that it's a positive thing, and I don't think it's going to change how people use containers. It's just another way to fill government coffers."
For more information please click here.

Florida Proposed Bottled Water Tax a No Go….
The Florida House Finance and Tax Council voted down a bill amendment that would have applied a 6-cent sales tax on bottled water……phewwww…..

Satiety Water Global Debut
New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has launched what it is calling the world’s first, flavor-neutral satiety water based on its own water-soluble whey protein fractions. Does this mean you can now drink your snack?

The product, called Whole, is part of the Fonterra Brands, and contains 5g of Fonterra’s ClearProtein and 1.5g of fiber, along with 2.5g of sugar or 30 calories.

“This product is the culmination of over a decade of research into processing techniques and the important health benefits of proteins and their impact on the human metabolism,” according to Josh Hosking, Fonterra USA business development manager. He added, “Never before has protein been able to be added into a beverage without negatively impacting the flavor.”
For more information please click here.

Brands in the News
Highland Spring plans an aggressive strategy to surpass Danone Waters' Evian brand as the number one bottled water in the UK by volume through a new brand campaign

Fiji Water announces it is to cut 92 jobs as the economic downturn impacts sales in its main export market, the USA.

Nestlé reports a 2.1% drop in Q1 2009 group sales to CHF 25.2bn, with Nestlé Waters division seeing a 4.4% decline.

Coca-Cola Co.'s Dasani, bottled water brand, is now available in lightly flavored fruit versions. The new beverages now offered in Lime, Strawberry Kiwi and Black Cherry essence, are unsweetened and contain no calories or preservatives.

On the Tech Side…..
Paper Water Bottle
Brandimage, a Cincinnati-based firm has come up with what they call an environmentally-friendly solution to the problem of plastic water bottles. The first totally recyclable paper container made from 100% renewable resources. It is paper packaging made from food safe materials and can stand up to all liquid categories.

The bottle is made of sustainable materials such as bamboo and palm leaf sheets that are pressed into shape, coated with micro-thin PLA film and designed to be assembled by snapping off and reassembling parts. They can be made in indiviual, or multipack (6 or 24 pack) designs. Interesting to note, a staff writer for the Huffington Post is already calling it a new way to waste.

Believe it or not….
Sometimes you can’t stay out of the politics. Do you have to be a democrat to drink H2Obama? Mount Desert Spring Water is selling H-2-Obama, hoping it will boost sales. We are not delving into the merits of this product, and only report the news. You can make your own judgment on this one. It may just be me, but does the water look a little cloudy?

To order, please call or email Alexis Donney-Brillinger in the Private Client Division – 954 735 4040 x 100;

Wholesale inquiries should be directed to Shirley Costanza,
954 735 4040 x 101;

Sant Aniol’s water comes from a spring nestled between perennial green forests and sleeping volcanoes in the La Garrotxa, Girona region of Spain. Water emerges to the surface from a 55 meter deep well, going through a slow filtration process of purification along the way.

The international observance of World Water Day, March 22 is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro.

While the daily recommended amount of water is eight cups per day, not all of this water must be consumed in the liquid form. Nearly every food or drink item provides some water to the body.

By the time a person feels thirsty, his or her body has lost over 1 percent of its total water amount.

89 % of Colorado's naturally occurring lakes are found at altitudes above 9,000 feet.

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