The other day I decided to try out some new drinks. Not in a consumerist spirit (such a retrograde attitude from me? Perish the thought!), but because, while having lunch at an EXKI restaurant, I spied a few bottles in an attractive design that I wanted to buy, but had not had the time. EXKI, for those who do not know them yet, are the Belgian restaurants that offer bio/health fastfood, very much in tune with the current vogue, all this with a friendly atmosphere, half restaurant, half lounge. In short, a concept that attracts more and more followers, just like certain drinks such as "smoothies", or even the "Innocent" brand, which have learnt to cater to the consumers that we are, and not those that Big Business assumed we were. The consumers that we are, are people who like to be spoken to openly and pleasantly, as one would to normal adults and not three-year old children, with simplicity and of simple things, with simple products that will not scour the stomach to begin with, then make one bloat like a balloon, and end up by giving us cancer! As far as the consumers they assumed we were are concened (here, fortunately, it is now slowly becoming evident to the myopic eyes of thousands of companies that they had been wrong), consumers of the past, it was quite the opposite of course: those children who were fed heaps of nonsense with ready-made discourses, endless paradoxes and, above all, a quality of products where one could not read the labels without becoming either paranoid, or blind (they were written in such small type and there was a multitude of ingredients). Anyhow, I do not know why I talk of the past, but you will see that my story about these new drinks (here we are, back on track! Thank you for your patience!) is quite pertinent.
So, these famous drinks - I come across them a few days later in another restaurant belonging to the same niche (bio / health) as EXKI, and this time, I purchase them immediately. The first is called Carpe Diem "Botanic Water", the second Firefly, and the third, Mangajo.
I taste them all. I find no merit in any of them, I can tell you in confidence, free of charge and without any hesitation. The first one seemed as terrifying to swallow as the medicines of my childhood, and the other two remind me of the chemico-weirdo drinks of the Pitbull, uh sorry, Red Bull, type. My taste, you may say, is probably altered because I have been eating and drinking mainly organic. So I decide to rely on the labels that, until then, I had stubbornly refused to look at, to avoid distorting the test. One is a pro or one is not. I immediately encounter the two pitfalls that I mentioned earlier: a delirious discourse extolling the virtues of Greco-Roman antiquity that inspired the Benedictine monks in their daily use of ayurvedic bowls, and a profusion of ingredients of homeopathic proportions. All of this sold in restaurants that I thought catered to people like me, who I described earlier on as the new consumers. Talk of losing one bearings, this certainly was wide off the destination! So then, at once, I quickly rushed out to the nearest Monoprix to buy myself an Innocent smoothie, which I drank up in one go.
© Virginie Michelet