Is Perrier Naturally Carbonated?
One of the frequently asked questions of Perrier is, “Is it naturally carbonated.” Perrier responds: “One of Perrier's most distinguishing attributes is its carbonation, which comes from a naturally occurring source found deep beneath the spring. This begins as volcanic gases, trapped within the geologic strata. Originally, these natural gases met and mingled together with the spring underground, rising at a constant pressure and temperature (60 degrees Fahrenheit). Up through the last century, in fact, they formed a cool, bubbling pool ("Les Bouillens") in which locals and health-seekers often bathed. “A desire for consistency, plus Perrier's growing public demand as an international beverage, led French scientists to devise a more efficient means to capture the water's perfect balance of minerals and carbonation in the bottling process. Both the water and natural carbonic gas are now captured independently. They come from isolated points at different depths, within the same geologic formation. Before they come together for bottling, a filter is used to remove any natural impurities in the gas. “Once combined in the bottling process, the level of carbonation found in a Perrier bottle is exactly as it is at the spring.”
Threatened Sale of Perrier
Perrier, the French mineral bottled water, was in the news last month (September 2004) when its parent company Nestle Waters France said it was considering selling Perrier after a trade union blocked an early retirement plan affecting about 1,000 jobs.
In July 2004, the trade union Conferecation Generale du Travail (CGT), which represents 55 percent of all Nestle Waters staff and 83 percent at the Perrier source, rejected a retirement plan that would affect 1,047 Perrier workers, reported The Tocqueville Connection.
The sale of Perrier, one of the world's best known water brands, is a "project that will be examined along with others," Nestle Waters France said in a statement.
In response, French Finance Minister Nicolas Sarkozy set up a meeting with Nestle Waters management, and then issued a statement that Nestle wanted to keep its Perrier mineral waters business and resume discussions.
Nestle CEO Peter Brabeck first threatened to sell Perrier in March, saying it was not profitable enough to remain in the Swiss food giant's stable of bottled water brands. "I find it very hard to work in France,” he said. “To produce a billion litres of water here, I am obliged to employ 4,800 people [including the Vittel and Contrex water plants, as well as Perrier]. To produce the same quantity in Italy, I need 1,800. And I'm talking about Europe there - not China or India."