Would you shell out money for fresh air in a can? Sounds a bit like a gag if you ask me.
But apparently, people in China would and they’re willing to spend big bucks too. Vitality Air, the Canadian company behind this seemingly ridiculous business idea, collects air from Banff National Park in Canada, compresses it in aluminum cans, and then ships the cans to its customers in North America and Asia. Since launching last October, Vitality Air has sold over 12,000 cans in China with each canister selling between $20 and $32 that lasts between 150 and 200 breaths.
China is Vitality Air’s biggest overseas market.
The well-known issue of air pollution in China is the reason behind the success of this product there. The Chinese are willing to pay for clean air, especially those living in big cities in the northeastern and southern parts of China where severe pollution can be a regular occurrence. Vitality Air’s China representative Harrison Wang told Mashable:
“Our Chinese website keeps crashing. We are getting orders from all over the country, not just from the wealthier cities. When the air is bad, we see spikes in sales. In China fresh air is a luxury, something so precious.”
However, fresh air in a can is by no means a practical solution to the air pollution problem in China. Lauri Myllyvirta, a senior global campaigner for Greenpeace, said:
“Unfortunately we need about 20 cubic meters or 20,000 one liter bottles of air everyday so this is hardly a long term solution. It is possible to protect yourself to an extent by wearing a pollution mask and having an air purifier at your home, if you can afford it.”
Despite the skepticism, Vitality Air founder Moses Lam believes the concept of bottled air will take off the way bottled water, once also mocked, did.
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