Last summer, the Washington Post documented the rise of sparkling water as sugary soda sales continue on a decade-long decline. Many companies are jumping at the chance to offer something innovative in this newly booming category stateside, and Asarasi is one of them.
“We are leading an entirely new segment of the bottled water space focusing on pure sparkling waters,” Adam Lazar, founder and CEO of Asarasi Sparkling Tree Water, told FoodNavigator-USA. The idea is to bottle the water that is filtered off from maple sap via reverse osmosis during the maple syrup production process (maple syrup makers want the sugary part of the sap), and carbonate it.
The result, established in 2014, is a sparkling bottled water product that the website describes as “smooth on the palate with a mild carbonation with a silk hinted sweet finish.”
Bottled water with a smaller footprint
There’s an outline of a maple tree on its bottle, and the product name itself comes from maple’s Latin name, Aceraceae. Other than that, nowhere does the packaging exclaim that the water inside comes from maple trees. Instead, it says 'sparkling tree water.'
“We don’t have any maple water claims and avoid this convoluted space,” Lazar said, referring to an ongoing debate within the category about what kinds of products may use this term. “We don’t advertise maple in any way as it is confused often by the consumer with a specific and sweet flavor. We offer unflavored sparkling pure bottled water that has a very crisp and refreshing mouth feel, with a hint of sweetness on the palate in the aftertaste, which naturally occurs from the source.”
And it’s not just the subtlety of flavor that Asarasi wants to sell, but also the smaller ecological impact collecting water from trees has versus bottling ground water—something it believes its target audience cares about.
“We can recover pure water from many different types of trees without harming the trees. Our mission is to redefine sources of pure water from renewable and sustainable resources,” Lazar said.
“As every other bottled water on the planet takes away from scarce and eroding precious groundwater resources, we are addressing the need for bottled waters that come from eco-alternative, sustainable and renewable sources.”
Locally “grown” water
Another concern Lazar predicts his target audience would have is ethical, local sourcing. Starting next month, its annual production will begin, where the company will collect maple tree saps during the spring time maple harvests. “We are exclusively sourcing our waters from New York State,” Lazar said.
With Asarasi's specific requirements to ensure the water will remain uncontaminated, the company had to weed through 12 different co-packers until it finally found the right one, which can’t be disclosed at the moment.
Water for everyone
Lazar said that Asarasi is aimed to be a product for everyone. Selling for a suggested price of $6.99 for a 12oz four-pack carton and $2.00 per 12oz bottle, Lazar the company wanted to “offer a very unique product without a substantial price premium to encourage everyone from all demographics and income levels to purchase our products without sacrificing their wallet as a result.”
At the moment, Asarasi can be found mostly in the Northeastern states, but it has national aspirations. The company continues to raise capital from accredited investors on CircleUp.com. “Bottled water consumers are everywhere and we address the needs of all bottled water drinkers while specifically focusing on the wants and needs of sparkling water consumers,” Lazar said.