Do you remember the taste of pure white snow? The taste when as children we first lifted our hands to catch the purest falling snow to taste it with our tongue? There is a water brand which aims to bring us back those childhood memories.
Svalbarði is among the very few water brands that are sourced from truly exotic places. To be more precise Svalbarði is harvested directly from pieces of Norwegian icebergs that are up to 4,000 years old and about to melt into the sea.
Svalbarði combines business success with positive impact on the environment and society, while it offers a “light as air” taste of pristine ice that has been locked up for millennia.
Purchase link: Svalbardi Polar Iceberg Water
How are the icebergs effected?
Svalbarði does not touch the glaciers which cover 60% of Svalbard’s land mass. The brand only collects ice that has already fallen into the ocean and will soon melt anyway. Collecting these icebergs is an important and environmentally responsible task to protect the environment against sea level rise.
“We live in Svalbard and see the warming environment and the shrinking glaciers. Rather than sitting back watching the ice melt and contribute to sea level rise, we gather it right before it will melt into the sea and use it to save more than 100 times the ice that was being lost.” – highlights Jamal Qureshi, Founder of Svalbarði.
Svalbarði is water from melted icebergs however it is definitely not what you first may think. In the short video below we invite you to discover the where the journey begins to create the highest environmental responsibility the brand can provide to safeguard our planet.
Protecting the environment, making the world better
Svalbard has strict environmental rules protecting nature and local wildlife. Svalbarði therefore worked closely with the Governor of Svalbard to ensure the new activity of iceberg gathering complied with all environmental regulations, especially avoiding sensitive areas that could disturb wildlife.
Many people might worry about the environmental impact of traveling long distances to gather icebergs out of the water. Svalbarði is certified carbon neutral and the company has a vested interest in preserving the pure arctic environment of its ice source. But Svalbarði goes beyond being able to report net zero emissions in accordance with the Carbon Neutral Protocol.When somebody buys a bottle of Svalbarði, it is actually carbon negative to the point that they are saving 100 times more of our planet’s arctic ice than they are using.
Notably Svalbarði’s activities are not limited to harvesting icebergs. The company also supports a project for improved local water supply infrastructure in Eritrea, Uganda, Rwanda, and Malawi. Through this they help to reduce CO2 emissions and provide water to local communities.
Through these and other measures, Svalbarði combines business success with a positive impact on the environment and society.
Drinking an iceberg? How does it taste?
BuzzFeed’s recently conducted an independent water taste test among their staff. They invited Martin Riese, one of the most well known certified water sommeliers in the USA and a certified expert by the German Water Trade Association.
The results were that Svalbarði was hailed as the most delicious-tasting water they had ever experienced.
Is it expensive?
Svalbarði has a hefty price tag. However the first moment that you taste it and understand their efforts, you realise that it wasn’t for nothing. It is easy to judge a book from its cover but it is the story inside that really counts. This is especially true for Svalbarði because it shares something exceptional with us from an unreachable part of the world. And in doing so the brand actually helps to make the world and their arctic home better.
The Svalbarði brand is headquartered in Longyearbyen, the northernmost human settlement in the world. Sourcing water from difficult-to-access pristine corners of the world such as Svalbard comes with a price tag. In this case €70.
“Water is a fundamental human right. We’re not saying this is what all water should be,” he says. “Food is a fundamental human right too, but you might like an expensive sushi, caviar, or steak. It’s the same concept here.” – explains Jamal Qureshi, Founder of Svalbarði.
It is meant to be a niche product.
The moral dilemma
Without fully understanding the brand’s special environmental efforts one might say that they are insensitive and irresponsible for charging €70 for a bottle of water.
But is this really the case? Just by looking around in the Principality of Monaco people are popping up Don Perignons, eating truffles, caviar and often over €1.000 lunches every single day. They buy super expensive cars and luxury yachts and wear the latest haute couture collections.
Mocking luxury brands can be comforting for some, but notwithstanding the critics Svalbarði continues to maintain its moral values. So how is it possible that just 750 ml of water costs so much?
Justification of the price point
Svalbard is about 1000 kilometres across the Barents Sea from the top of mainland Norway.
The price of the bottle includes free shipping. This explains a lot in itself since Longyearbyen, the bottling location for Svalbarði, has an extremely limited number of boats and planes to transport goods. For example the one cargo ship to the island comes only about twice a month.
However even before we talk about shipping the product we need to realise that Svalbarði has gone to great lengths to collect the ice itself. The collection of the icebergs from the sea starts about 100 nautical miles northwest in Kongsfjorden, an inlet on the west coast of Spitsbergen, one of Svalbard’s three main islands.
A typical iceberg is collected from the water a few days to weeks before it will melt into the sea. These are small pieces not used by wildlife for habitat and can weigh anything up to one tonne. This ice is transported back to the outpost of Longyearbyen where it is set on a heated funnel that can gentlymelt up to 500 litres of water in an hour.
“The water undergoes no taste or chemistry altering treatments. So you are tasting it exactly the same as if you were on an expedition in Svalbard and enjoyed ice fresh from the fjord.” – says Jamal Qureshi, Founder of Svalbarði.
Purity is a big part of Svalbarði’s brand. They focus on maintaining the light taste of the freshly fallen snow we tried tasting as a kid. At the end of the day it is a luxury gourmet product offering a taste like no other in the world and with a high environmental consciousness. Which is precisely what a lot of Svalbarði’s customers are paying for.
Where to buy it in Monaco?
The official distributor of the Svalbarði brand in the Principality of Monaco is MAISON DEL GUSTO.
Purchase link: Svalbardi Polar Iceberg Water