Belfast Telegraph

NI Water fools shoppers in taste test with new Mourne bottled brand... filled straight from tap

By Allan Preston

Northern Ireland Water has surprised members of the public by unveiling its new bottled ‘brand’ that offers a cheap alternative to the competition.

Shoppers in a busy Northern Ireland supermarket were asked to try Mourne Water which was described as: “Locally sourced from the Green Hills of the Mourne Mountains.”

But unknown to those sampling the refreshing drink, the new ‘must have’ bottled water brand was nothing but plain old Northern Ireland tap water.

The glowing reactions were filmed and released in a video on NI Water’s Facebook page.

One man described it as: “Cool, refreshing and nice to look at. It’s lovely.”

Another woman said: “I’d say it definitely has a different taste than the ones from the bottle I’m used to drinking. And definitely the one from the tap.” Asked how Mourne Water compared to other bottled water bought in the shops another customer said: “Just as good, if not better.”

Others were asked to close their eyes and describe where they imagined drinking Mourne Water.

“Sitting on a nice beach, sipping a nice water after a hot day,” said one man.

When shoppers asked where it was from, the sales representative assured them it was “100% sourced from the Mourne Mountains”.

The video went on to say that Northern Ireland tap water scores 99.8% in purity tests and that 560 million litres of clean fresh water are delivered every day to homes and businesses — enough to fill 224 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Asked where the refreshing Mourne Water was available to buy, the taste testers were shocked to find out it was tap water all along.

Despite the quality of the water, the bottled variety continues to flourish.

The drinks menu at the luxury Merchant Hotel in Belfast raised eyebrows in 2015 when a deluxe water- tasting menu was launched.

It offered water sourced from 10 countries and with prices ranging from £4.95 to an eye-watering £26.45 per bottle.

The hotel also appointed two new water butlers to help customers choose the right one for their particular palate.

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