What Happened to Clearly Canadian?

Mythical’s daddies, Rhett & Link, were instrumental in a crowdsourcing campaign to bring back Clearly Canadian from the brink of extinction. This left me with so many questions, mainly: What is Clearly Canadian? What happened to Clearly Canadian that it needs to be brought back in the first place? Clearly, my ignorance is showing, so it’s time to rectify that.

When did Clearly Canadian come out?

To understand the Clearly Canadian story, we must know its origins. It came to us from the Great White North known as Canada—specifically, British Columbia. In 1987, a company called Clearly Food & Beverage Company Ltd. started bottling sparkling water (and soon after sparkling water with fruit flavored syrups) in glass bottles emblazoned with their nation’s iconic maple leaf.

This was a big deal at the time because they were one of the very first companies to market seltzer as a soda alternative. Many now-popular seltzer brands soon followed. But throughout the 1990s, Clearly Canadian dominated the market.

What were/are the Clearly Canadian flavors?

The original flavor of Clearly Canadian was plain water, but the brand eventually spread out into flavors like Summer Strawberry, Wild Cherry, and Western Loganberry. These were made with fruit-flavored syrups, so Clearly Canadian was not originally a zero calorie beverage like most modern day flavored seltzers. These days, Clearly Canadian makes a zero sugar alternative flavored with stevia along with new flavors like Mountain Blackberry, Orchard Peach, and Country Raspberry.

What happened to Clearly Canadian?

Much like the Boy Band era, Clearly Canadian experienced a swift, precipitous fall after Y2K. Their business was, apparently, being wildly mismanaged. It changed hands a few times throughout the decade and by 2010, it was no longer in production.

So, why was Clearly Canadian discontinued? A pretty typical story: business executives ruining something good.

Did Clearly Canadian come back?

In 2012, a venture capitalist firm acquired the brand with the hopes of bringing it back. What followed in 2013 was an extensive crowd-sourcing campaign—one of the first of its kind—to help pre-sales shoot through the roof. As a result, the brand garnered enough attention and capital to go back in production. Today, you can find Clearly Canadian sold in its signature blue glass bottles in stores across the country. 

Why is Clearly Canadian so expensive?

People often criticize Clearly Canadian for being expensive. In our area, you can find an 11 oz bottle of Clearly Canadian for $2.69, while a 17 oz bottle of Bubly costs a full dollar cheaper. So, why is Clearly Canadian so expensive? First of all, it’s sold in glass bottles. Secondly, it’s an import. Like French Champagne. And it’s just as good, I reckon.

About the Author

Luke Field

Luke Field is a writer and actor originally from Philadelphia. He was the former Head Writer of branded content at CollegeHumor and was also a contributing writer and actor to the CollegeHumor Originals cast. He has extensive improv and sketch stage experience, performing both at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and with their Touring Company. In addition to writing, he also works as a Story Producer, most recently on season 4 of Accident, Suicide, or Murder on Oxygen. Keep your eyes peeled for his brief but impactful appearance as Kevin, the screaming security guard, in the upcoming feature The Disruptors, directed by Adam Frucci.

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