|Produced by||Nestlé Waters|
|Source||Vergèze, Gard, France|
|pH||5.5  - 5.46|
|Calcium (Ca)||150  - 160|
|Chloride (Cl)||19.5  - 22|
|Bicarbonate (HCO3)||420  - 430|
|Magnesium (Mg)||3.9  - 4.2|
|Nitrate (NO3)||7.3  - 7.8|
|Potassium (K)||< 1  (0.6)|
|Sodium (Na)||9.6  - 9.5|
|Sulfate (SO4)||25.3  - 33|
|TDS||456  - 480|
|All concentrations in milligrams per liter (mg/L); pH without units|
Perrier (// PERR-ee-ay, also US: // -AY, French: [pɛʁje]) is a French brand of natural bottled mineral water captured at the source in Vergèze, located in the Gard département. Perrier is best known for its naturally occurring carbonation, distinctive green bottle, and higher levels of carbonation than its peers.
Perrier was part of the Perrier Vittel Group SA, which became Nestlé Waters France after the acquisition of the company by Nestlé in 1992. Nestlé Waters France also includes Vittel, S.Pellegrino and Contrex.
The spring from which Perrier water is sourced is naturally carbonated. Both the water and natural carbon dioxide gas are captured independently. The water is then purified, and during bottling, the carbon dioxide gas is re-added so that the level of carbonation in bottled Perrier matches that of the Vergèze spring.
Perrier is available in 750 mL, 330 mL, and 200 mL glass bottles in Europe, as well as in 330 mL cans. In other markets, the 250 mL can is also available. Perrier bottles all have a distinctive 'teardrop' shape and are a signature green colour. In August 2001, the company introduced a new bottling format using polyethylene terephthalate to offer Perrier in plastic, a change that was researched for 11 years to determine which material would best help retain both the water's flavour and its purported "50 million bubbles."
Perrier comes in several flavours: Natural, Lemon, and Lime have been on the market for many years, and in 2007, Citron Lemon-Lime and Pamplemousse Rose (Pink Grapefruit) flavours debuted in the United States. In 2015, a Green Apple flavour was launched in France as well as the US. In 2016, a Mint flavour (Saveur Menthe) was introduced in France.
Since 2002, new varieties of Perrier have been introduced in France, for example, Eau de Perrier is less carbonated than the original, and comes in a blue bottle. Perrier Fluo comes in flavours such as ginger-cherry, peppermint, orange-lychee, raspberry, and ginger-lemon.
The spring in Southern France from which Perrier is drawn was originally known as Les Bouillens. It had been used as a spa since Roman times. During 218 BC, Hannibal and his army, having passed through Spain en route to his intended conquest of Rome, decided to rest for a while at les Bouillens, from which the men took water for refreshment.
Perrier was first introduced to Britain during 1863. Local doctor Louis Perrier bought the spring in 1898 and operated a commercial spa there; he also bottled the water for sale. He later sold the spring to St John Harmsworth, a wealthy British visitor. Harmsworth was the younger brother of the newspaper magnates Lord Northcliffe and Lord Rothermere. He had come to France to learn the language. Dr. Perrier showed him the spring, and he decided to buy it. He sold his share of the family newspapers to raise the money. Harmsworth closed the spa, as spas were becoming unfashionable. He renamed the spring Source Perrier and started bottling the water in distinctive green bottles. The shape was that of the Indian clubs which Harmsworth used for exercise.
Harmsworth marketed the product in Britain at a time when Frenchness was seen as chic and aspirational to the middle classes. It was advertised as the Champagne of mineral water. (There are champagne houses by the name of Laurent-Perrier and Perrier-Jouët, but there is no connection.) Advertising in newspapers like the Daily Mail established the brand. For a time, 95% of sales were in Britain and the U.S.
Perrier's reputation for purity suffered a blow in 1990 when a laboratory in North Carolina in the United States found benzene, a carcinogen, in several bottles. Perrier stated that it was an isolated incident of a worker having made a mistake in filtering and that the spring itself was unpolluted. The incident ultimately led to the worldwide withdrawal of the product, some 160 million bottles of Perrier.
Two years later in 1992, Perrier was bought by Nestlé, one of the world's leading food and drink companies. Nestlé had to contend with competition from the Agnelli family for ownership of the business.
From 1981 to 2005, the company sponsored an annual comedy award in the United Kingdom, the Perrier Comedy Award, also known as "The Perriers". In 2006 it was announced that Perrier would no longer sponsor the award, which was renamed the "if.comedy awards", after its new sponsor, Intelligent Finance.
In 2004, a crisis erupted when Nestlé announced a restructuring plan for Perrier. The following year, Perrier was ordered to halt restructuring due to a failure to consult adequately with staff.
As of January 2013, Perrier was available in 140 countries, and almost 1 billion bottles are sold every year.
The Perrier Awards
In 1981, Perrier set up an eponymous Perrier Comedy Award, described as a means of supporting young comedic talent at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, an arts festival touted as "the world's largest". Initially for comedy reviews, by 1987 this included a standup comedian award. The award's sponsorship was taken over by various other advertisers starting in 2006 with commensurate renaming, and it eventually came to be called the Edinburgh Comedy Awards.
The Perrier Young Jazz Awards were set up by Perrier in 1998, though never attained the success and recognition of their longer running comedy equivalent. The awards ran for four years, releasing an album showcasing its winners each year, before being discontinued. The last year the awards ceremony ran was 2001.
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