Country's most popular water now available in bottle by designers of Ferrari cars

25-08-2004

The most popular mineral water in the Czech Republic is Mattoni, which comes from the west Bohemian spa town of Karlovy Vary. The water - usually referred to by the diminutive "Mattonka" - is now available in a snazzy new bottle created by Pininfarina, an international design studio best known for sleek sports cars. Mattoni spokesman Michal Donath told me all about it.

"The new bottle was designed by the Pininfarina studio, in Italy."

They're the people who design Ferrari cars - is that right?

"They design not only Ferrari cars but Jaguars and quite a lot of industrial designs."

Where did Mattoni get the idea of getting that company to design the new bottle?

"Well, the idea is pretty simple - Mattoni is number one in the Czech drinks market and they wanted to hook up with the number one in design, and that was obviously Pininfarina."

Many of our listeners will know the current bottle - do you know how long has the current bottle design been in use?

"The bottle was a universal bottle that was used by many, and is still used by many producers of mineral waters in the Czech Republic. Nobody can recall when this bottle when this design came to the market."

I've seen photos of the new bottle but I haven't seen it in the supermarket - is it the case that it won't be on general sale?

"You are right - these bottles are destined for 'better restaurants' in the first phase."

So if I want to try the new bottle I have to go to an expensive restaurant.

"To a more expensive restaurant, I wouldn't say to an expensive one."

Is the water the same as what I'm used to?

"The water is absolutely the same because the water is the...real content of the bottle."

What has been the reaction to the new design?

"So far very positive, as your interest shows, and the interest of the Czech media shows. The new design of the bottle has created waves in a relatively steady...fishpond."

One thing also - the name Mattoni doesn't sound very Czech to me. Where does the name come from?

"The name comes from one of the original owners of the company that started to produce mineral water in Carlsbad. He was actually German and the name was Heinrich Mattoni."

It's a German name?

"It was a German family. The name sounds very Italian but the family was German."

25-08-2004