There is a rather expensive and bitter supermarket: you can find a pizza in pills that costs 163 dollars, a bag of rice (with only 5 grains) at the modest price of 89 dollars and a teaspoon of water (the pure one) for beauty of 198 dollars. It's called Drop Store, it's an initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Publicis Groupe agency, designed to make people think about the global water crisis and the possible consequences for our future.
Would you like a little thirst?
The objective of this "fictional" shop (but up to a certain point) is to show how water could become an increasingly scarce commodity, due to climate change and growing demand. Around the world, billions of people already suffer from water scarcity or limited access to a clean water resource. Global water demand is expected will increase by 55% by 2050, threatening not only human hydration, but also crops and livestock.
Pills of pizza and rice weighing in gold
Among the imaginary products of the Drop Store, as mentioned, there are pizza pills designed to offer the taste of a pizza without the need for crops, and bags of rice with a few grains, a symbol of the devastation that droughts, floods and typhoons are already causing in rice crops.
On the Drop Store website, each product is accompanied by scientifically accurate information on the water consumption necessary for its traditional production. This is the case with my beloved margherita pizza, which requires 1.259 liters of water for every 725 grams. And let's not talk about Dutch cheese, "sold" in a miserable pack of two cubes that probably wouldn't even be enough for a country mouse. There is clearly no shortage of snacks based on it of insects.
The water crisis at the time of compulsive shopping
To make people of different cultures and backgrounds understand the extent of the water crisis, the Drop Store creative team decided to link it to something present in everyone's daily life: the supermarket. Edward Marques, creative director of Publicis Groupe, points out that by showing how commonly used products could become expensive or disappear altogether, the Drop Store touches the raw nerve of everyday life. I agree: it's an operation that (here the advertiser speaks to you) has brought good results in the past.
However, leading to the paradox, the Drop Store site also includes futuristic products designed for a world with too much water. High heels with diving fins, floating sofas and other amenities that show both the excesses and the shortages caused by the water crisis.
Water crisis: is the future rewritable?
The Drop Store was also featured as a physical exhibit at the recent United Nations Water Conference in New York where products were displayed along with various descriptions. Why did I mention "rewritable future"? Because the signals about the damage to our ecosphere are increasingly evident, and a piece of destiny is already written. The temperature of the planet will increase in the coming decades, we must prevent it from doing it excessively. Either way, the Drop Store shows us an eerie future, but one not yet written in stone. If we manage to change course and adopt sustainable solutions, we will never wander the shelves of such a supermarket.