Liquid Death are makers of canned water, with a difference. The convention-breaking company is on a mission to kill plastic pollution and slay thirsts the world over. We reviewed five of their finest beverages to see what all the fuss is about.
What is Liquid Death?
Founded by Mike Cessario in 2019, Liquid Death is a company that makes canned-water, sourced and produced in the Austrian Alps. Drawing inspiration from watching skaters guzzle Monster Energy during tours, Mike, a graphic designer, wanted to offer a healthier, more sustainable solution to our daily hydration needs. Thus, the brand was born, and with it a stylish way to consume water (that wasn’t in a plastic bottle).
Only, this isn’t your normal water brand.
Liquid Death is rebellious, audacious, and in-your-face. Watching one of the company’s hilarious and impactful adverts is like experiencing a marketing fever dream, one where sustainability is a main plot point. It’s a cornerstone that the company was built on, with messaging all over their products and website that promotes the recyclability of their wares.
More than just words, the company also takes action, with 10% of the profits from each can sold going to fund sustainability initiatives, including 5 Gyres and the Thirst Project.
Let’s quickly recap their creative playbook. A brief sampling of video themes:
- Kid-friendly plush dolls which show the impact of plastic pollution on marine animals
- Faux waterboarding a marketing executive to show the destructive power of water
- Pleas from demons not to let Earth’s plastic pollution hurt the underworld
- And of course, celebrity endorsements aplenty.
The company has also just released a new ‘Convicted Melon’ ice tea, with ads depicting on off-their-rocker grandmas getting up to no good. Because, why not?
Why water rocks
From a sustainability perspective, it’s easy to make a case for Liquid Death as an alternative to plastic bottled water. An infinitely recyclable aluminium can, packaged in a recyclable carboard box. No plastic in sight.
However, there are two other uses that might be overlooked here. Firstly, there’s the obvious health factor to consider. Each can contains only 20 calories, and that’s the whole 500ml (16.9 Fl Oz.) can as a single serving too, none of this ‘5 serves per can stuff’. With 0% juice and only 3g of sugar, Liquid Death makes for a great choice for those looking to cut down (or cut out) sugary soft drinks or modern-day, artificially sweetened juices.
Another use could be for those who are seeking to avoid alcohol consumption. Could be that you are the designated driver, or just want to take a pass on the beer tonight. Well, Liquid Death is an alternative that comes in a package which does not look out of place next to other beer cans and pre-mixed alcoholic drinks. Except, unlike those, you’re actually hydrating yourself throughout the night, instead of dehydrating with each drink. Your future-self will thank you.
Fun fact, Liquid Death was originally marketed at the straight-edge crowd, the punk-rock loving subculture that generally refrains from alcohol consumption.
Our review of Liquid Death
We put five flavours of Liquid Death to the test;
- Sparkling Water (unflavoured)
- Mountain Water (still, unflavoured)
- Mango Chainsaw (mango-flavoured sparkling water)
- Berry It Alive (berry-flavoured sparkling water)
- Severed Lime (lime-flavoured sparkling water)
Each flavour came in a 500ML (16.9 Fl Oz.) “Tallboy” can, replete with evocative environmental messaging and adorned with a wicked skull illustration front and center. You’ll find similar gruesome graphics across the company’s website and marketing materials, along with witty and humours copy that positions Liquid Death as a sort of grim reaper for plastic bottles. The box also featured an intricate piece of artwork.
In fact, when researching the recyclability of the can itself, I was greeted with some text just below the barcode which instructed me to “recycle or die”. That’s some awesome attention to detail, though I do feel slightly threatened.
Both the still and unflavoured sparkling water are marketed as ‘artesian mountain water’ and include naturally occurring minerals and electrolytes.
As with other ‘mineral waters’, there is the slightest taste of sodium, which is more noticeable in the still variant.
The sparkling mineral water hit the spot and I found myself eagerly cracking a frosty one open at the beach on more than a few occasions.
Of the flavoured sparkling waters, Severed Lime was the clear favourite. It was not too overpowering, and the taste also didn’t linger for long. Like the unflavoured sparkling mountain water, it could best be classified as ‘refreshing’.
Mango Chainsaw was middle of the pack, with a flavour that was about as strong, yet it seemed to persist in the mouth for a while longer. This wouldn’t be unfavourable if you were out on the town and looking for a drink with a bit of a bite, but if you just want to hydrate at home, or eat something alongside it, unflavoured might be the better choice.
Coming in last was Berry It Alive. This one was very strong, both in terms of taste and longevity. The scent of berries instantly hit upon opening, and the flavour was noticeably artificial. A few minutes after taking a sip, it felt as though I had gone to town on a piece of berry-flavoured gum, only I hadn’t. Berry aficionados might love this, but for those that like extreme flavours, maybe try Lime or Mango instead.
Recycle or die.
None of the flavours we tested had any artificial colouring, meaning you could also offer these to guests in your home without them thinking you’d spiked their drink with radioactive waste, ala modern soft drinks.
Liquid Death is a welcome breath of fresh air. They are making sustainability cool and health choices fun, through their clever marketing and strong branding. An easy recommend for those looking to ditch plastic bottled water, skip sugary drinks or avoid alcohol. Best of the pack were the unflavoured sparkling, lime and mango.
For more Liquid Death goodness, be sure to check out their website for details on stockists in your country.