It wasn’t that long ago that people thought selling bottled water was crazy, but now bottled Canadian air is a hot commodity, especially for the people in China where the air is bad and getting worse. A Canadian start-up company is selling bottles of Canadian air at $14-$20 a pop and sales are booming.
According to CNN News on December 16, this Canadian company is selling the bottle air from a ski resort and Chinese customers just can’t get enough of the clean air. The company called Vitality Air put 500 canisters filled with fresh air from the Rocky Mountain town of Banff up for sale in China and they were gone within two weeks.
Today the pre-orders are close to 1,000 for those $14 and $20 bottles or canisters of air. The price depends on the size of the canister you want to purchase. With Beijing issuing their first ever red alert for smog last week, it looks like folks in China find these canisters a breath of fresh air! (Pun intended).
Northern China is suffering from poor air quality as the Chinese burn coal for heat during these cold winter months. The red alert closed schools and restricted traffic with the hopes of putting a dent into this bad air quality problem.
The air is hand bottled with co-founder Moses Lam making the 4-hour trek to the ski resort each month to bottle the air. At first this air was a novelty purchase, but the people in China believe the bottle air it has a functional purpose.
Just how is this air bottled? “a bit of a trade secret,” said Troy Paquette, who is the other co-founder of Vitality Air. He said, “this involves filling “massive cans through clean compression, locking in the pure air without any contamination.” Then, back at their facility, they fill canisters to the brim.”
So what do the consumers get for their money? MSN News reports that “a can of Vitality Air contains about 150 sprays. A single can goes for $14 (before shipping), while a double pack can go for as much as $43.”
So who is buying this very expensive air? Vitality Air’s China sales representative said that “most customers are affluent women “who buy [cans] for their families or give [them] away as gifts. Night clubs and senior homes are also buying in,” reports MSN News.
This was the brain child of Lam when as a joke he put a zip-lock baggy filled with air on eBay for 99 cents and it sold. His next bag of air got caught up in a bidding war and sold for $168.
Lam said that he doesn’t want the air to be bottled via machines where there is a chance of contaminants in the form oil or grease from the mechanical parts. He spends about 10-hours bottling the air when he arrives at that ski resort in Banff.
Lam said that his company is more than a gimmick when it comes to answering the critics saying it is just an empty bottle of air. Lam said “If China can import food, water, why shouldn’t they have the right to import air?”
One may wonder if this borders on taking advantage of the people in China who are scared that their air quality is so bad. The folks in China are seen in news clips wearing face masks on the street, can you imagine living in a place where the air is that toxic? Does this product make use of their vulnerability right now?