If someone told you there is a Silicon Valley start up selling bottled air to China, you would probably think it’s a joke. And it is; the start up is actually in Alberta, Canada.
Yes, you read that correctly. Vitality Air, a start-up in Alberta, Canada, is capturing fresh, pollution-free air from the Rocky Mountains and selling it for up to $32 CAD a bottle. They have launched a successful campaign to market their product – well, nature’s product – to China, a country whose population is suffering from severe air pollution. Over 4,000 units will be on their way across the ocean soon, 1,000 of which are already pre-sold. And again, you read that all correctly: bottled air is on its way to China.
Vitality Air describes their process of capturing fresh air from Banff National Park and Lake Louise as using a clean compression system to collect large batches of air, which is then transferred to individual aluminum cans at their headquarters. Each bottle comes with a spray cap or built in mask for taking in the fresh air, as well as a certificate of authenticity. The website touts the bottled air as perfect for hangover recovery, athletic performance, cramming for exams, and even marathon video gaming.
But the biggest appeal seems to be among Chinese residents, 80 percent of whom are living in conditions which exceed the US Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for acceptable air pollution levels. It is estimated that 4,000 Chinese citizens die every day from pollution, which causes 17 percent of overall deaths in the country. It certainly is not hard to understand the allure of bottled air from a pristine mountainside when considering these statistics. The company recently tweeted: “China declared red alert for #smog.
Need a breath of fresh air? Check out our products! #ChinaSmog.”
You tell us – how we should look at Vitality Air? Helpful service to those in need or opportunistic maneuver?
After shipping 500 sample bottles to China, Vitality Air suddenly found itself with an unmatched demand for its product. Currently, the company has a shipment of 4,000 set to make its way to the country, with over 1,000 of them already pre-sold.
Vitality Air hasn’t been shy about targeting those in need. On Twitter, the company sent off an onslaught of tweets targeting people in or visiting China.
By AJ Dellinger