There was a time, not long ago, when LaCroix was being peddled in low-cost grocery chains and beverage enthusiasts hadn’t yet embraced the line of sparkling waters.
That time has come and gone, with foodies and health nuts alike clamoring for the brand that’s taken social media by storm. It’s definitely fair to say that the LaCroix brand has a cult following – earlier this month, the mention of a new flavor drove masses into a frenzy.
How would you feel if I told you LaCroix has been pushing an alternative flavored beverage completely under the radar for more than two years?
The drink is an “essenced” sparkling water called NiCola, and it’s LaCroix’s take on healthy cola without any of the nutritional kickback associated with regular sodas. There are independent YouTube reviews of the product tracing back to 2015 and earlier.
The product, which is affectionately referred to as “LaCola” by fans in the know, has been exclusively available to those in the Chicago metropolitan area and shoppers at Whole Foods in the Rocky Mountain region of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, and Utah.
What does NiCola taste like, you might ask? One YouTube reviewer says the cola-flavored LaCroix has licorice and chocolate notes, and even shares characteristics with another cult classic sparkling beverage – Diet Coke.
Both ardent fans and casual LaCroix drinkers have strong words for the NiCola flavor. Many consider it to be one of the worst flavors they’ve ever encountered from the brand, which may be due to the fact that it’s the only product not incorporating a fruity flavor.
If you’re dying to get your hands on a LaCola yourself, you don’t necessarily need to book a ticket to Chicago or the Rockies: the covert flavor is available through Amazon and specialty retailers.
This story originally appeared on Cooking Light.
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