AriZona via Instagram
AriZona via Instagram

Why Is AriZona Iced Tea Cheaper Than Water?

AriZona via Instagram
AriZona via Instagram

Despite being a bladder-shattering 23.5 ounces, cans of AriZona iced tea have never wavered from the 99-cent price point introduced shortly after the drink debuted in 1992. It’s even printed on the label as a way of warding off sugar-water price gouging by retailers.

The fact that AriZona has been able to resist inflation for nearly a quarter-century is impressive. The fact that the cans usually wind up being cheaper than smaller soft drinks is also impressive, until you begin to realize how strange it is that a vat of iced tea and its accompanying ingredients somehow manages to be less expensive than plain water.

In a recent interview with Thrillist, AriZona chief marketing officer and co-owner Spencer Vultaggio shed some light on this convenience store mystery.

Unlike water titans Coke (which distributes Dasani), Evian, or Fiji, AriZona has virtually no advertising dollars invested in their teas. "We feel like it's more important to spend money on something that our customer really cares about, instead of buying billboards or putting our cans in the hands of some celebrity for a few minutes," Vultaggio said.

Even with a frugal approach to ads, AriZona still has to deal with rising production costs. To help resist increasing prices to compensate, the company has pursued alternative manufacturing methods, using 40 percent less aluminum in cans and having enough factories dotting the country to make transportation more efficient. Bottled water, in contrast, is sometimes sourced from abroad, making for exorbitant shipping costs.

In the end, it’s not the iced tea that’s more economical than the water; it’s that the container it comes in is simply cheaper to produce and transport. And while AriZona isn’t above charging a premium for fancier drinks—like a tea brewed with oak chips that sells for twice the price—their branding depends heavily on those familiar rows of 99-cent cans and the loyal consumers who keep reaching for them.

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Sorry, Kids: Soda is Now Banned From Children's Menus in Baltimore
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The war on sugary drinks continues. Following several cities that have passed laws allowing them to collect substantial sales tax on sodas and other sweetened beverages, Baltimore is taking things a step further. A new ordinance that went into effect Wednesday will prohibit restaurants from offering soda on their kids’ menus.

Leana Wen, the city’s health commissioner, told the Associated Press that the ordinance was enacted to “help families make the healthy choice the easy choice.” Instead of soda, eateries will be expected to offer milk, water, and 100 percent fruit juices.

If you’re wondering what will stop children from sipping soda ordered by an adult escort, the answer is—nothing. Business owners will not be expected to swat Pepsi out of a child’s hand. The effort is intended to get both parents and children thinking about healthier alternatives to sodas, which children consume with regularity. A 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that 30 percent of kids aged 2 to 19 consumed two or more servings a day, which can contribute to type 2 diabetes, obesity, cavities, and other adverse effects.

Businesses in violation of this kid-targeted soda prohibition will be fined $100. Baltimore joins seven cities in California and Lafayette, Colorado, which have similar laws on the books.

[h/t The Baltimore Sun]

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'Lime Disease' Could Give You a Nasty Rash This Summer
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A cold Corona or virgin margarita is best enjoyed by the pool, but watch where you’re squeezing those limes. As Slate illustrates in a new video, there’s a lesser-known “lime disease,” and it can give you a nasty skin rash if you’re not careful.

When lime juice comes into contact with your skin and is then exposed to UV rays, it can cause a chemical reaction that results in phytophotodermatitis. It looks a little like a poison ivy reaction or sun poisoning, and some of the symptoms include redness, blistering, and inflammation. It’s the same reaction caused by a corrosive sap on the giant hogweed, an invasive weed that’s spreading throughout the U.S.

"Lime disease" may sound random, but it’s a lot more common than you might think. Dermatologist Barry D. Goldman tells Slate he sees cases of the skin condition almost daily in the summer. Some people have even reported receiving second-degree burns as a result of the citric acid from lime juice. According to the Mayo Clinic, the chemical that causes phytophotodermatitis can also be found in wild parsnip, wild dill, wild parsley, buttercups, and other citrus fruits.

To play it safe, keep your limes confined to the great indoors or wash your hands with soap after handling the fruit. You can learn more about phytophotodermatitis by checking out Slate’s video below.

[h/t Slate]

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