What is it about LaCroix that inspires such devotion? What about the perfect bubble density? How about the flavor essences? Is it methadone for soda drinkers to kick the habit? Perhaps it’s the sensation that when you finally find your favorite flavor, it feels like drinking a can of purified victory.
Whatever this mysterious x-factor is, it compels us to look at a fridge stocked with three or four cases and consider it perfectly reasonable to crush the entire inventory within two days. This isn’t a strictly American phenomenon for the midwestern seltzer, as several flavors, including the ambrosian Pamplemousse, are available in Canada. Now, for the first time, this particular brand of commercial imperialism has landed on Australian stores — complete with its addictive personality and penchant for motivating social justice humor.
In the Sydney neighborhood of Redfern, the proprietor of the Redfern Convenience Store has recently acquired several varieties of LaCroix at the request of one of his customers. Dubbed as ‘The Greatest Convenience Store In The World’ by Hazem Sedda, the store’s owner, it has cultivated a reputation for being a place to buy unusual and hard to find products like Fritos, Redvines and The World’s Hottest Corn Chips. In doing this service, Sedda has become a local celebrity. The store’s Instagram has 14k followers and continually grows — with a daily post celebrating ‘a customer of the day.’ When a customer discovered LaCroix on trip to the States, he asked if Sedda could order some cases.
It took two months for his order to get processed and shipped from National Beverage, the company that makes the brand. But for Sedda, who arrived from Palestine when he was 15 and has worked at the store since, a challenge is merely something to overcome. When we stopped by the other day, he was selling the cans individually, having ceased selling them in cases because the demand was cleaning him out. Sedda told us that he had fielded calls from as far as Adelaide and Melbourne regarding his supply. His next shipment doesn’t come until later this fall, Australia’s spring.
One flavor not on the shelf? Pamplemousse.
We bought a passionfruit and a cran-raspberry instead for about the price of two fancy beers. It doesn’t compare to getting an on-sale 12-pack for $3, but we wanted our fix. It may be only a matter of time before LaCroix blankets the Australian grocery landscape. For now, at least, the consumption is mercifully limited to one-at-a-time for the true devotees at The Greatest Convenience Store On Earth.