Canned Air from Canada is a Big Hit in China Because of Course It Is

By Adam Campbell-Schmitt |
CANNED AIR SELLING IN CHINA FWX

© ROPI / Alamy Stock Photo

In recent years, savvy film fans have pointed to the unsettlingly similar ways our daily lives have come to mirror the 2006 comedy Idiocracy. In the movie, the stupid have inherited the Earth and there's nothing that isn't sponsored by corn-syrupy crap, including the irrigation of crops. But another movie about our future (or a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away as it were) has also seen a prediction come into fruition. I'm talking, of course, about Spaceballs. As expertly foreseen by director Mel Brooks in the clip below, we're living in the age of canned air.

According to CNN, Canadian start-up Vitality Air was founded in 2014 by a guy who figured out a Ziploc of fresh air would sell on eBay for ninety-nine cents. An industry was born. While the website for the company seems to only take itself semi-seriously (claiming "we are your solution to pollution!"), the product has apparently blown up in China where air quality is so bad the government has recently declared the first 'red alert' days in the country’s history, and some restaurants even tried charging patrons a purification premium.

Whether a necessity for living in Beijing, or just a dark gag gift to comment on their shared environmental plight, the first shipment of 500 canisters of pure Banff air sold out in just two weeks. Pre-orders for the next batch are near 1,000. Available in two sizes, the air sells for $14 to $20 but that's a steal considering it's all hand-bottled, which I imagine is similar but opposite to the process of trying to disperse a cloud of passed gas. The smaller size boasts up to eighty one-second-puffs of crisp, breathable... you know, air. As ridiculous as it may seem, you have to admire the chutzpah of anyone who figured out how to make money selling what amounts to Rocky Mountain whip-its.

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