Massachusetts is the origin of many things some residents might consider with regret: Good Will Hunting, the actor behind the disappointing recent Batman reboot, the "straight pride" parade. One thing the state can tout gladly, however, is the pride of Worcester: Polar Seltzer, whose perfectly sharp, flavored bubbles have earned cult-like following. For all the New England homes well-stocked with Polar's newest selections, LaCroix might be the second-rate option, anyway—but as it turns out, LaCroix's presence on shelves might also be against the law.
In order to sell fizzy water in Massachusetts, companies must have a permit, and they must also provide the results of laboratory testing. Specifically, the law says that no company manufacturing carbonated water "shall sell any such beverage within the commonwealth without a permit from the state department of public health." As Consumer Reports discovered earlier this week, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health could find no such permit or proof of testing filed by National Beverage Corporation, LaCroix's parent company.
In a notice dated June 4, National Beverage was asked to "submit the necessary paperwork for LaCroix or face potential legal consequences" (including fines or being barred from sales), a spokesperson for the health department told Consumer Reports. As of a report Thursday afternoon by TODAY Food, National Beverage was working to amend the situation.
"We have completed an application required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, paid the required fee, and are working in a good-faith effort with officials of the Commonwealth to promptly resolve this matter," the company told TODAY in a statement. (MUNCHIES has also contacted National Beverage for comment, and we will update this if we receive a response.)
Polar might be the hometown hero, but in Massachusetts, LaCroix—at least for now—is for the rebels.