If you've been to a grocery store in the past two months, you've probably experienced some issues finding your favorite products on the shelves. Basic necessities like toilet paper, disinfectant, and pantry goods like flour and canned beans have been flying off the shelves faster that stores can restock.
But if you drink bottled water, you probably can rely on at least one option fully in stock: Dasani water. It's such a phenomenon that it's become a meme and even the subject of an SNL sketch. But we had to ask: really, why do people hate Dasani water so much?
Why do people hate Dasani? The water is famously unpopular.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, you've probably seen one or two pictures on social media of shelves and pallets full of Dasani while competing brands in the vicinity are either completely sold out or well on their way. There are a couple reasons why Dasani is so disdained it is completely immune to panic buying.
The first is that the Coca-Cola company famously had to disclose several years ago that their water is essentially just municipal tap water that has been factory filtered and then enhanced with their own proprietary formula of minerals before bottling. This is not unique to Dasani, though.
Basically unless a water label has the words "naturally sourced" or "natural spring water", it is just filtered tap water, sometimes with added minerals after filtration. But rather than listing these as minerals, Dasani's ingredient label lists them as "salt".
Again, that's not unique! Salt is a mineral and most minerals that occur in water are salts. It's very rare to find pure H2O with no trace amounts of other salts, and frankly, those salts are what give water its subtle flavor.
For those of you who aren't science nerds, salts are just molecules made of two or more positively and negatively charged ions that, when combined, are chemically neutral. In the case of table salt, that's a sodium atom (Na) and a chlorine atom (Cl). But many of the other minerals that naturally occur in the best-tasting spring water are salts, too, such as calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, magnesium sulfate, and yes, good ol' NaCl.
The reason why two spring waters might taste different to you is that they originate from aquifers that have their own unique mineral composition. The minerals in these naturally sourced waters comes from the underground rock formations they filter through. In a water like Dasani or Aquafina, those minerals come from a lab.
Chemically, it's no different than if a spring with that exact mineral composition produced it, but nevertheless, a lot of people are a bit salty (pun totally intended) about the idea of paying for tap water that has been factory enhanced. But the bigger reason why people hate on Dasani is that they simply don't like the taste. Even though Coca-Cola undoubtedly conducted countless focus groups to get their mineral blend "just right," most people answer the question, "Why do people hate Dasani?" with the simple statement, "Because it tastes bad."
Frankly, you should avoid all bottled water, not just Dasani, because single-use plastic is devastating the world's oceans and landfills. But you should especially avoid it if it's really not different from running tap water through your Brita.
Dasani hate hit a new high when Shane Dawson took a shot.
The YouTuber recently uploaded a video discussing many of the debunked theories about Dasani, like that Coca-Cola puts salt in its water to make you thirsty. As we've established already, pretty much all water has some salt in it, and it's not a conspiracy. It's just how water works. Shane also noted that a fizzing noise happens when you open a bottle. This can happen sometimes with bottled water and the sound you hear has to do with air pressure. If the pressure in the bottle is greater than the air pressure outside, the air bubbles inside rush to escape and that's the sound you year.