Boasting some of the tallest peaks in Europe, Italy’s Dolomite mountains are a uniquely spectacular rocky mountain range with a whole host of equally unique features. One of these includes Cedea, the only mineral water found in the Ladin Dolomites. Derived from one single natural spring located fifteen hundred metres above the sea, Cedea now brings a taste of this mountainous paradise to your table.
By telling the story of its origins and the special place of its water source, Cedea is creating a whole new way of looking at the water we drink. Cedea’s Founder and CEO, Monica Menozzi, explains more…
How did you both get into your line of work and where you are today?
Our project started in 2007 when we asked our government for permission to officially research the water in our area. This lasted over 6 years and ended with the Italian Health Ministry statement naming Cedea officially as a Mineral Water. The second step took another 5 years to get permission to bottle and sell Cedea.
This 11-year process allowed us plenty of time to check the market and focus on what we did not want to create as a brand. We wanted Cedea bottles to tell the story of our region, our culture, to be different and to turn the spotlights on Mineral Water. Mineral water is not just water; it is a product, the only one recognised by the Health Ministry.
We also don’t want to exploit our territory, and we want to leave a beautiful mark on our small village in the Dolomites mountains.
What do you enjoy most about your role at Cedea?
My husband, me and our kids (actually, they are not kids anymore, 19 and 26 years old) are Cedea. In every choice that we make daily, there is our heart, our passion and love. Our family is Cedea World; we all enjoy it.Can you explain a little bit about where Cedea comes from and the process behind it?
Cedea Mineral Water comes to life from the Dolomites mountain in the northeast of Italy, flowing from a natural cleft in the rock. There are 100 meters of pipeline from the crack to the factory, and no human intervention is needed. This means no pumping, just Cedea’s own energy. Mineral Water can’t be treated or filtered; it is bacteriological pure at the origin and what we ensure is that the bottling machine is safe and pristine at all times.
What makes Cedea water so unique, in your opinion?
It has been a long process of chemical and bacteriological analysis, which lasted almost six years before we received the hydrogeological report from the laboratory stating: Mineral Water with stable chemical parameters and bacteriological pure, ten years underground before flowing out from the crap in the rock. The temperature at the source is 6.9°C, with a pH of 8.1.
Cedea is special because we think differently. Cedea is not a big company on an industrial site. We are in a small village (1800 inhabitants), far away from highways and industrial areas. We have no desire to transform the place we live, but through Cedea, we want to share our story and our vision. Cedea has a particular taste; it is the taste of the Dolomites – no contaminants, no industry, but good living in a heavenly place.
Can you explain a bit more about the design of the bottles?
Cedea bottles were custom designed by Sharon Hassan and Nick Pitscheider. We asked them to blend our culture with the legends, the territory and the product.
Has Cedea water grown in popularity over recent years, and, if so, why do you think this is?
We started with the bottling process at the end of 2018, and from that moment, the interest has been growing.
Why do you think Cedea water maintains market growth in such a competitive industry?
Mineral water is not an easy product. In restaurants or hotels, there is the habit of asking for water, not for a particular label, just generic water. There is no culture or interest, only the need for drinking water.
Our goal is to change this lack of awareness. When we have a leisurely lunch or dinner in a restaurant, there is no necessity for eating or drinking, but there is the need for an experience – relaxing, having fun, friendship- and mineral water must be part of it.
Have you witnessed a change in how people buy the water or places people buy the brand?
During the last five years, we noticed a change in the trends. Awareness about plastic bottles and the use and misuse of treated or filtered water.
Most restaurants tend to serve treated or filtered water in bottles: perfect if the bottles are clean. However, most don’t have a proper bottle washer. They simply put the bottles in the dishwasher, which cleans them outside but not inside – this is something to think about. To choose Mineral Water means to choose a safe product.
Can you tell us why Cedea water makes an ideal accompaniment for fine dining and water pairing menus?
Put simply, Cedea is perfect: TDS 133mg/l, low sodium, high Bicarbonates, pH 8.1. Soft and sweet in the mouth, balanced minerals and high (in percentage with the TDS) bicarbonates are perfect for good digestion.
Where are some of the hot spots that enjoy Cedea water?
Cedea is well known in the north of Italy and Asia (Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand), and we received good vibrations from the UAE and USA.
What do you have in store for the brand for 2022/2023?
2023 will see the launch of a new bottle and maybe a new taste…