Carbonated soda, fizzy water, seltzer, or tonic - whatever you prefer to call it, sparkling soda has made a big name for itself in recent years. Well-known varieties have joined the ranks of avocado toast as stereotyped millennial favorites, but individuals of all ages have shown year after year that sparkling soda is a crowd favorite with staying power amongst the masses. In fact, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, U.S. consumers purchased roughly 821 million gallons of sparkling water in 2018. This is nearly triple the quantity purchased in 2008, and the booming growth shows no sign of ceasing. With its recent rise in popularity, its easy to think of sparkling soda as a new market. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. We’ll briefly go over the history of this bubbly beverage, and the product’s journey to the forms we love today.
As you read this, a mineral spring is gently bubbling from the ground in Neiderselters, Germany, commonly known as the "Selters Spring." It’s first recorded reference was in the year 772 (you read that right), and has bubbled onward and upward throughout written history to date. A popular resort business centered around the Selter spring in the late sixteenth century, and the sale and transportation of the water took hold soon after. The English term "seltzer water" is derived from "Selters Water," the adopted brandname of water transported from the spring. Orders were sent from Selters to Russia, Scandanavia, Africa, North America, and even the Dutch East Indes. After centuries of business, the bottling fountain was closed in 1999, and the spring has since been owned by the community.
Dr. William Brownrigg of Northern England was the first person in known history to make still water fizz, with the addition of carbon dioxide in 1740. While intrigued, he did not publish his findings, and his innovative discovery temporarily fizzled out. Thankfully, twenty-seven years later, Dr. Joseph Priestley (yet another British scientist) made the same discovery. His epiphany occurred after placing a bowl of water above an effervescent vat of beer, resulting in the water’s carbonation. He noted how satisfying he found the resulting effect and shared it with visiting friends. Priestly later published his discovery in the 1772 paper Impregnating Water with Fixed Air. For this, he was awarded the Copley Medal that same year by the Council of the Royal Society in honor of the concept’s scientific merit. Priestly also invented a specialized device to carbonate water and began mass-producing his product, and the industry steadily grew over the next hundred years. New brands rose to prominence subsequently, as did the new method of pumping pressurized CO2 directly into water - an improvement from Priestley's original method. Though he didn’t see a profit for his innovative idea, Priestley has since been known as the “father of the soft drink.”
Until World War II, carbonated water was known in America as "soda water" because it contained sodium salts. Eventually this was shortened to soda and encompassed each and every drink of the bubbly variety. Soda water and its growing popularity eventually led to the creation of more carbonated beverages, and the introduction of the PepsiCo and Coca-Cola brands in the late nineteenth century. Many in the Great Depression called unflavored soda water “two cents plain,” as it was the cheapest option sold in soda fountains without the three cent cost of flavoring. For individuals struggling to get by in those difficult days, soda water was a little luxury within reach, which further sealed its spot in American pop culture.
While sparkling water and sparkling soda’s prominence has steadily risen in the past decade, research has shown that sugary alternatives have seen a gradual decline. Health-conscious consumers have shied away from chemical-laden soda choices, reluctant to consume excess toxins, loads of sugar and hundreds of calories, all of which fill far too many of their products. Sparkling water comes in a variety of appealing flavors today, and is regarded as a much more palatable, tasty alternative to plain old H2O, without sacrificing hydration or consuming needless calories and additives. The carbonated water industry has even expanded to its juncture with caffeinated drinks, cocktails, and even the CBD-infused beverages sold here at CBD Sparkling, with the best both components have to offer. Sparkling water’s increasing popularity and diversity would undoubtedly make its creators proud, and much like the beverage’s bubbles, its demand is clearly rising.
Sparkling sodas offer a much healthier and ever-delectable alternative, which has led to the popularity shift in its favor. Our line of CBD sparkling sodas have just 100 calories per can, and every delicious flavor contains just five ingredients. Each of our products are packaged in BPA-free cans. They’re also vegan, non-GMO and free of gluten, THC, sodium and preservatives. While the origin the Selter spring is more than a millennium behind us, we’ve worked to bring carbonated beverages back to their natural roots, and deliverable straight to your doorstep.
Check out our store to find more information on our products, and for the delicious options available to you. Until next week, stay bubbly!