Gwyneth Paltrow tries out Flow Alkaline Spring Water's Latest Augmented Reality Grocery Experience at ExpoWest at Anaheim Convention Center on March 06, 2019 in Anaheim, California.
Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for Flow Alkaline Water
  • Gwyneth Paltrow and her lifestyle-brand Goop are partnering with Flow Alkaline Spring Water.
  • The bottled water industry is booming, but has faced backlash for indistinguishable products and environmentally unfriendly packaging.
  • Flow is attempting to cash in with supposed health benefits from alkaline spring water, as well as more eco-friendly packaging.

Gwyneth Paltrow and her lifestyle-brand Goop are partnering with a water company, as the bottled water industry explodes.

On Wednesday, Paltrow appeared at a California trade show to promote Flow Alkaline Spring Water on Thursday.

The event is tied to a larger partnership between Goop and Flow. WWD reports that the water brand will be available at Goop summits starting this weekend, and that an "exclusive partnership this year that will drive the Flow message to the Goop consumer with multiple touchpoints."

Flow is an alkaline spring water brand, sourced from Ontario, Canada. According to the company, the water "comes from a limestone aquifer where it naturally collects healthful, essential minerals like Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium that give the water an alkaline pH of 8.1 to keep the body in optimal hydration."

The bottled water boom

Gwyneth Paltrow and Founder and CEO of Flow Alkaline Spring Water Nicholas Reichenbach try out Flow Alkaline Spring Water's Latest Augmented Reality Grocery Experience at ExpoWest at Anaheim Convention Center on March 06, 2019 in Anaheim, California.
Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for Flow Alkaline Water

Bottled water is a booming business. In 2017, the carbonated-soft-drink category declined 1.3% by volume, while bottled water grew 6.2%, according to industry publication Beverage Digest.

However, despite growth, the bottled water industry has faced plenty of backlash.

"Bottled water is the marketing trick of the century," John Jewell wrote in The Week in 2014.

As Jewell notes, bottled water isn't simply an alternative to soda - it's an alternative to tap water, which is free and typically more eco-friendly. To succeed, companies need to convince shoppers why they should buy bottled water instead of relying on tap water.

"There's a sea of sameness when you look at it from a consumer lens," Todd Kaplan, vice president of the water portfolio at PepsiCo North America, said at a Beverage Digest conference in 2018.

Flow attempts to break through this sea of sameness of indistinguishable brands by touting the supposed health benefits of alkaline water.

According to The New York Times, there is no evidence that most alkaline waters are healthier than normal tap water.

"It's all about marketing," Tanis Fenton, a registered dietitian and epidemiologist at Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, told The Times. "There is no science to back it up."

"Our water is full of naturally occurring essential minerals like calcium and magnesium that provide the alkalinity and electrolytes," Nicholas Reichenbach, the founder of Flow Alkaline Spring Water, said in an email to Business Insider. "These minerals are associated with several health benefits and help hydrate."

The B Corps-certified company also provides an alternative to plastic water bottles, which have sparked backlash in recent years.

"In 2015 I left Burning Man with an idea," Reichenbach writes on Flow's website. "After seeing the mountain of plastic water bottles that had to be removed at the end of the festival, I knew there had to be a better way."

Flow is the "fastest growing global wellness water," according to the company, available at retailers including Whole Foods and Safeway.

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