Cooling Down With 'Designer Ice'

Why ruin your $2 bottle of water with regular ice, when you can now get "designer" ice?

As Jon Duncanson of CBS station WBBM in Chicago reports, several companies are introducing pre-packaged sealed ice. The products — a far cry from the bag of pre-made ice you can purchase at convenience stores — consist of sealed ice cube trays filled with unfrozen spring or filtered water.

At a scorching $2 a liter, bottled spring water already takes more from your pocket than the cost of the gas you put in your car. So perhaps times are ripe for purified ice cubes.

Canadian entrepreneur Jean-Jean Pelletier flew in from Toronto to showcase his mineral ice rocks.

"Right now you're taking your ice tray, you're putting that with tap water in your freezer," says Pelletier. "It can smell — shrimp, chicken, etc. This you don't need to touch."

Most mass-produced ice comes from city water; the maker of these cubes promises no messy chlorine aftertaste.

Just how thirsty are we for ice cubes costing about a dime-a-piece? Asking several passersby, Duncanson got mixed answers how desirable this product is.

George Varney showed Duncanson aquaICE, purified water that you just stick in the freezer.

"If you believe in bottled water you should believe in this pre-packaged, sealed ice," says Varney.

But some stores say that if it looks like a fad and smells like a fad — it may be a fad.

Efrain Madrigal of Sam's Wines and Spirits says he has no plans yet to stock the designer ice. "We'll see how it goes. But nothing in the cards," he says.

But if we'll buy $4 gas and $2 water, what's so wrong with a 10 cent cube of clean, pure ice?

Some designer icemakers also say that ice from tap water can make you sick, but health experts say there's no real risk of that.
  • Daniel Schorn

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