• Tue, Feb 22 2011

Kraft Launches MiO Water Flavoring

Today, Kraft Foods unveiled their new “MiO” water flavorings, a line of calorie-free concentrated liquids that will be available to consumers in March. The sleekly packaged flavorings are meant to enhance the flavor of water — a sort of economical alternative to buying individual bottles of diet, flavored waters. Apparently, this is big news to some because Kraft hasn’t forayed into a new food or beverage category in 15 years. To me, MiO reads to me like a distress signal: Americans have become so used to processed food and drink, they can’t even drink plain, all-natural water.

I don’t aim to extol the merits of unadulterated water; I frequently add a lemon slice or POM juice to mine for extra zip. I’m interested in the health benefits of citrus and berries (none of which I imagine Kraft will pass along in its palm-sized flavor dispensers), and I’m equally interested in avoiding the potentially harmful effects of artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners, which are a gamble at best. At worst, they’re linked to cancer and strokes — not a risk I’d like to take.

I know I’m not the only one who shudders at the thought of flavored water, but apparently, there are a lot more people who’d prefer to drink water that tastes like it came from Willy Wonka’s factory than a mineral-rich artesian spring. If Kraft is willing to venture into new territory after 15 years of playing it safe, they must be certain that the market for flavored water is big. (And they would know better than me.) It’s no news that Americans are good at turning a blind eye to the health consequences of processed but tasty junk, but it’s news, at least to me, that we’ve gone so far off the deep end that we can’t even drink water unless it’s laced with fake flavor to bait us.

Let’s stop offering our money up for “food and beverage” products that have no nutritional benefit. If you can’t give up a burger, fries, or two desserts a day, at least give up drinking chemical-laden beverages and drink some plain old water.

via USA Today

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  • Manda

    I’m actually one of those strange, strange people who doesn’t eat fast food except maybe two or three times a month (that’s being generous), and doesn’t do a whole lot of soda, either (By “a whole lot”, I mean I drink maybe 1 or 2 cans a week, again, that’s being generous).

    And I never, ever buy bottled water (I own a bottle. I own a tap. I use them). I also drink almost nothing BUT water.

    So, I’m not the kind of person you describe at the end of your post at all. But, I, personally, would buy one of these little dispensers and use it once-in-a-great-while as an alternative to normal water. Maybe that makes me some kind of junk-food addicted, fat-guzzling freak, but I honestly don’t think that having a burger once in awhile, or having some flavored water once-in-a-blue-moon is going to damage me that badly.

    Like I said, I wouldn’t live and die by this. I love the way water tastes, and have always found buying water (or flavored water) to be ridiculous. But to squirt into my water bottle a few times a year, for a little variety? I don’t see anything wrong with that. And I find it kind of annoying how judgmental Blisstree writers are about people who use products they don’t like.

    Just because I might flavor my water once-or-twice a year doesn’t mean I’m a mindless, McDonalds-guzzling drone who lives on ice-cream and cheeseburgers.

  • John

    I just heard about the product last night. It would be great to have flavored water. I find it difficult to drink eight glasses of water a day. This might get me to drink more water! I have not tried this product and may not. As a good shopper, I will look into products like this for the best taste and value.