If you are in an expensive restaurant or hotel bar, you may want to order one of Voss's sleek, distinctive bottles of water – but are you paying for tap water? Because Voss water isn’t just known for the purity of its water and stylish bottles, they also faced criticism for selling Norwegian tap water.
Read on to find out if this water is the right bottled water for you.
What is so special about Voss Water?
Voss Water has a very stylish bottle from designer Neil Kraft, who wanted the bottle to stand out from other bottled waters and signal a luxury product. Voss also focused their initial sales to upscale restaurants and hotels, which established their brand as premium and expensive.
The water itself is unusually pure, meaning it has very few minerals in it compared to most other bottled waters. It might taste especially good and clean to you if you are used to drinking hard water with a lot of minerals, or normal city tap water.
Is Voss Water healthy for you?
Generally speaking, all bottled water is considered safe to drink because it is tested more often in the U.S.A. than tap water.
The complete water quality report for Voss water is available on their website. They highlight the fact that they have low TDS “Total Dissolved Solids”, which basically means it’s a soft water with few extra minerals in it.
Soft water may be preferable to people with sensitive stomachs, as it is very close to drinking just pure water. Some people prefer water with more minerals in it, as this forms a small supplement to their calcium and magnesium intake. Others may find the clean taste of a pure water preferable.
Is Voss Water just tap water?
In 2010 a Norwegian television station, TV2, aired a documentary where hydrogeologists showed evidence that Voss water doesn't come from a special well in the village of Vatnestrøm, Norway, but is exactly the same as the tap water for the whole community.
Despite Voss's strong reaction to the claims, they never disputed the results in court, and there was no retraction of the claims in the documentary.
On their own website, Voss gives basically no information to their water source. Descriptions such as “Voss still and sparkling water is generated from sources deep beneath the ground” seem vague, to say the least.
However, even if it is tap water, it’s pretty amazing tap water from the countryside of Norway. The water is pure and has an unusually low mineral count...the villagers of Vatnestrøm can count themselves lucky.
Is Voss water expensive?
Voss water has always marketed itself as a premium brand and is one of the more expensive bottled waters on the market. For example, it is more expensive than Fiji and Evian, which are other well-known, premium bottled waters.
Part of this price is inevitably because the company invests in its luxury image and marketing campaigns. They claim on their website that they also invest in the environment and reducing their carbon footprint. They support a charity to help water campaigns in Northern Africa.
When all is said and done, you are paying a premium price for a stylish brand of good, pure water.
Voss is known for having a pure water with few extra minerals. This is measured by the TDS, or Total Dissolved Solids, and we would expect Fiji's value to be substantially higher (meaning it has more minerals and other molecules in it):
TDS of Fiji 210, TDS of Voss 40.
Of the minerals included in the TDS, we'll compare calcium directly. It’s a typical mineral in water. Since we know Voss has very few minerals in total, it’s expected that Fiji has more calcium than Voss:
Calcium in Fiji 19 mg/L, calcium in Voss 2.7 mg/L.
Fiji offers a neutral to slightly alkaline water, while Voss water is slightly acidic: (value of 7 is neutral, below 7 is acidic, above 7 is alkaline):
pH of Fiji 7.1, pH of Voss 5.8
Now it's up to you to decide! Do want a slightly alkaline water with some minerals, or a slightly acidic water with a low mineral content?
Voss has an unusually low mineral content for bottled water, but there are other brands with similar or even lower values. As discussed above, this is measured by its TDS (Total Dissolved Solids), and Voss’s low value is proof that it’s one of the purest water for sale.
Try it out!