Borsec, the most powerful Romanian brand


Borsec has, once again, been recognised as the most powerful local brand in the 100 Most Powerful Romanian brands ranking, launched by Biz Magazine, together with research company Unlock Market Research. Borsec is the champion of Romanian brands, ranking first; a brand close to the hearts of consumers.

BrandRo, the “100 Most Powerful Romanian Brands” ranking, currently in its eighth edition, assesses the “power” of Romanian brands in terms of the trust and affection afforded to them by consumers, without taking financial and commercial indices into account.

The survey is based on 1,000 online interviews and it is representative of the urban environment, regionally, by urbanization rate, gender and the 18-to-55 age bracket.

Prestige for over 210 years


Above all, Borsec natural mineral water is a celebration in itself. A celebration of perpetual youth, endless health, vitality and energy. It is a celebration of youth as, with its persistent and fun effervescence, it helps to keep you youthful and buoyant. It is a celebration of health as the renown of the Borsec springs, and their therapeutic properties, precedes it. It is a celebration of vitality and energy because, as has been proven, mineral water alone can provide beneficial energy, generating exuberant dynamism.

The Queen of Mineral Waters, collector of hearts and awards


“Medal of Merit”, The International Trade Fair of Vienna, 1873

“Diploma of Honour”, The Trieste Trade Fair, 1876

“Diploma of Honour” The Paris International Trade Fair, 1878

“Gold Medal”, The Pozman International Trade Fair, 2004

“The Best Carbonated Water in the World”, Berkeley Springs, USA 2004

“Special Gold Medal”, World Quality Selection in Brussels, 2005

1873

“Medal of Merit”, The International Trade Fair of Vienna;
“Golden Medal” and “Queen of Mineral Waters” award, bestowed by Emperor Franz Joseph;

1876

“Silver Medal”, The Berlin Trade Fair;
“Diploma of Honour”, The Trieste Trade Fair;

1878

“Diploma of Honour” The Paris International Trade Fair;

1885

“Silver Medal”, The Budapest Trade Fair;

1970 – 1979

“Diploma of Honour” of the Bucharest International Fair;

Awards granted at the “Izvorul Vieţii” Mineral Waters Exhibition, organized by UGIR 1903 (The General Union of Romanian Industrialists):
1999

“Diploma of Honour”;
“Gold Medal” for the best sparkling natural mineral water in Romania;

2000

“Gold Medal:” for sparkling natural mineral water;
“Excellence Award in the Romanian Industry”;

2001

“Gold Medal” for the Borsec sparkling natural mineral water;
“Platinum Brand” for tradition and excellence in the Romanian industry;

2002

“Excellence Award in Romanian Industry”;
“Gold Brand” for the best sparkling natural mineral water;
“Platinum Brand” Medal for Best New Product;
“Gold Medal” for still natural mineral water; “Silver Medal” for sparkling mineral water;

2003

“Gold Brand” for sparkling natural mineral water;
“Gold Brand” for product design;
“Platinum Brand” for still natural mineral water;
“Platinum brand” for excellence and tradition in the economy; “Platinum brand” for excellence in quality;

2004

“The Best Carbonated Water in the World”, Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Awards, USA;

2005

“Special Gold Medal” for sparkling natural mineral water, Monde Selection, Belgium;

2005 – 2016

“Superbrand” with exceptional level of awareness, over 90%; Leader in the Mineral Water category in all Consumer Superbrands editions;

2006 – 2015

10 consecutive “Trusted Brand” titles;

2010

The Romaqua Group, Supplier of the Royal House of Romania for natural mineral waters;

2010 – 2014

“The strongest Romanian brand” according to Unlock Market Research and Biz magazine;

Origin. The springs from the heart of the Carpathian Mountains


“A more beautiful and fascinating place than the Borsec area is almost beyond imagination. Nature wished to bestow its divine benevolence upon an enchanted garden, so that it would be not only useful but also praiseworthy.”

Orbàn Balàzs, "A Description of Szekler land", 1868.

The Borsec Springs are located in North-Eastern Romania, in the Borsec Depression, Harghita County, in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains. The Borsec spa resort lies at an altitude of 900 meters, and the surrounding, vast, coniferous forest provides its beneficial microclimate. There are more than 15 natural mineral water springs. The group of springs is connected to Borsec’s basin, dating from the Pliocene. The deposits within this basin contain, within the bedding, crystalline rocks in the epizone, superimposed spots of sedimentary rocks (dolomitic limestone from the Triassic), covered by deposits of conglomerates and sandstones, clays and clay marl. The Quaternary strata consist of peat and travertine deposits. The waters from the crystalline rocks can circulate, accumulate and mineralize, by passing through the cracks of the massive Rebra crystalline rocks, or through lithological contact surfaces. The mineralisation of these types of waters depends on the dynamic activity of the waters. The carbon dioxide content, which is decisive in maintaining the chemical balance between calcium, magnesium, and sodium bicarbonate compounds, originates from the mofetta ring within the Harghita-Călimani chain.

History. Borsec, the water from the world of tales.


They say that, in the 1800s, water was only bottled on full-moon days, when the atmospheric pressure was at its highest, so as to improve and maintain the natural mineral water’s CO2 content.
Roman coins, bearing the portrait of Constantine [337-361 AD], discovered after the archaeological excavations carried out in the Tulgheș Pass, 1857

The story begins somewhere in the heart of the country, where, peacefully nestled among the mountains no higher than 1,000 meters, the springs of health flow ceaselessly. Numerous, clear, fast and valuable. The course of history started in ancient times, when the Romans had found peace in the Dacian lands. They must have been among the first “foreigners” to enjoy the purity and the qualities of the Borsec natural mineral waters. The fourth-century Roman coins were discovered around this place, providing the name that the world would come to know the water by, and serving as enduring proof.

Several centuries later, the springs were discovered by hunters (in 1429), and gained their widespread renown after a shepherd from Săliștea Sibiului was healed during (at the beginning of the 16th century) his transhumance to the plains of Moldavia, a fact noted in the writings of Meyr Ignacz from 1863.
According to documentary evidence, in the 16th century, the mineral water, carefully poured into oak barrels, was regularly sent to the royal court from Alba Iulia, to be used as treatment by Sigismund Bathory. The prince shared the wonder springing from Borsec, with the sovereigns of the West, especially with the imperial house of Prague, which ensured its international fame.

Thus, at the end of the eighteenth century, the village in the heart of Transylvania was transformed into a genuine spa resort, with Venetian-style wooden chalets, public baths and a chapel (as noted by Hanko Vilmos in 1896). People from all over Europe came here in search of a cure. Some notes from 1767 describe Borsec as “the place where the desperate ailing, from around the country and abroad, gather in summer to heal.”

The point in time which marks the beginning of the industrial history of Borsec mineral water bottling is 1803. This year marks the story of the Viennese Valentin Gunther, who, by drinking water from Borsec, was miraculously healed of a disease believed to be incurable at the time. Amazed and seduced by his qualities, he aimed to pour the miracle into bottles and to make it accessible to the world.

Gunther took the mineral water land on a lease and, along with Anton Zimmethausen, a municipal counsellor in Vienna, who also hired “a certain Eisner mining engineer and glass blower specialist” (according to Borsec’s Monograph by Szilvassi, 1890), started trading the water in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. And there was Borsec’s soil, which not only provided the healing water, but the ingredients needed to manufacture the glass, as well. Three years later, in 1806, the industrial bottling of mineral water started in containers made from the ground of Borsec.

In its debut year, three million litres of bottled water found their purpose in the historical areas of Romania and Hungary, as well as on Viennese tables.

The very name it was given is a revealing clue that this is a very special place. Borsec resulted by merging the terms “borviz” and “szek”, which mirror the metaphoric meaning the Seat of Mineral Water. Home to more than 15 springs of pure natural mineral water, who could say, safe from all ridicule, that Borsec did not deserve to be called “land of natural mineral waters”?

At the Vienna World Trade Fair of 1873, Borsec water was ennobled with the most prominent title, “Queen of Mineral Waters”, which was granted by Emperor Franz Joseph himself. This was a sign of sovereign recognition which would, from this point on, be proudly displayed.

Borsec natural mineral water has been bottled by several entrepreneurs, over time:

1806 – 1832

Zimmethausen/Gunther Association

1832 – 1916

Various owners

1916 – 1918

A lull in the First World War

1918 – 1943

The company “Izvorul Apei Naturale Borsec”, whose business was later transferred to Crissoveloni Bank in Bucharest

1943 – 1945

A lull in the Second World War

1945 – 1948

Bottling was performed by a number of entrepreneurs, until it was eventually nationalised (1948)

Apemin, a state-owned company, specialising in the extraction of natural mineral water, was founded in 1952. It was a time of investment in major upgrades, performed in two stages, as follows:

1952 – 1956

A new bottling hall was set up and the plant was connected to the town of Topliţa through a narrow railway line, entailing the construction of a viaduct, which remains one of the town’s symbols, even today.

1977 – 1989

Development continued with two more production halls in Borsec, as well as a transcontainer in Topliţa; this allowed for the quick delivery of natural mineral water to the domestic as well as the international market.

Export demand increased year upon year, foreign consumers increased in number, and new markets were gained for Borsec. Thus, Borsec natural mineral water came to be exported to the following countries: Israel – 1.4 million bottles per year, Germany – 1.2 million bottles per year, Italy – 1.1 million bottles annually, Hungary – 950,000 bottles per year, Saudi Arabia – 850,000 bottles, while smaller quantities arrived in Switzerland, Spain, Cyprus, and Poland.
Nationwide, the years 1950 – 1990 were the years of Borsec’s utmost assertion as the Romanians’ favourite natural mineral water, its notoriety and prestige growing year after year. 1998 marked the return to the course of history and to normality, as the bottling business from Borsec returned, half a century later, to its private business status.

Investments made by the Romaqua Group Borsec over the past two decades exceed 220 million Euro, with the implementation of world-leading technologies and equipment, providing for products manufactured to the highest quality standard.
A new brand image was created, reflecting both the rich heritage of tradition and prestige, and the vitality and natural energy of the Borsec natural mineral water springs.

Between 1950 and 1990, Borsec's natural mineral water was exported to dozens of countries around the globe, its visual identity being adapted to the various markets.
Borsec Natural mineral water in Romanian stores, 1956 - 1995.

Health. Deemed "healing water" since the 17th century.


The curing qualities of the Borsec springs, which have been studied since 1687, are still valid today, proving its numerous benefits for the metabolism: diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or inflammatory diseases.

Borsec’s natural mineral waters contain bicarbonate, calcium, magnesium, sodium; they are hypotonic, non-ferrous, and have a very low iron content. This variety of natural chemical components is what gives the water its special curing capacities. The mineral content is balanced, the iron content is low, and the CO2 concentration is naturally high and stable. All these features provide for the ranking of Borsec’s natural mineral water among the best natural mineral waters.

Vienna, the 17th century: the first scientific research


The waters of Borsec have been known for their healing qualities since the second half of the 17th century. Since then, their fame has spread all over the world, and awards have been amassed. As early as 1687, they are mentioned in the books of Vienna, presented to the world in Marco della Fratta’s research. In 1773, research was conducted on their therapeutic effects, when Professor Krantz Heinrich, commissioned by the Austrian margrave, studied and highlighted the qualities of the Main and Lobogó springs.
In 1774, L. Wagner published a study on Borsec’s natural mineral waters in the “Academische Dissertat” magazine. In 1825, Dr Schneit Dániel wrote the work “The mineral springs of Borsec”. In 1863, J. Meyr, and in 1873 Dr Neustadter, analysed the effects of bathing in Borsec water and started building healing baths known as “Lobogó”, “Lázár”, “O and Uj-Sáros”. In 1893, the “Siebenburgische Quartalschrift” journal listed the new diseases which could be cured by the Borsec mineral water.

The chemical composition of the Borsec springs, according to tests performed in 1890 by chemist and balneologist Dr Hanko Vilmos in the monography “Borszek, descriptions and portraits”.

2006: Study of the “N. C. Paulescu” Institute for Diabetes, Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases


According to the scientific study carried out in 2006 by the “N.C. Paulescu” Institute for Diabetes, Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases on “The influence of the consumption of Borsec still and sparkling natural mineral water upon carbohydrate metabolism and oxidative stress in patients with and without diabetes mellitus” a series of extremely valuable properties were evinced, among which the fact that the influence of Borsec natural mineral water consumption upon the carbohydrate metabolism is positive, due to an increase in insulinemia in the short term, as well as in the medium term, the total antioxidant status reflected by systolic blood pressure values being positively influenced.
Regardless of the type of Borsec mineral water consumed (whether still or sparkling) or the length of consumption, a diuretic effect was determined, decreasing urine sodium and potassium concentration, with a role against the formation of kidney stones. Consuming Borsec carbonated natural mineral water has a positive effect, up to 90%, on digestive manifestations associated to diabetic neuropathy. In the short term, a significant increase in the peripheral blood flow was noticed, an effect determined through the use of the plethysmograph, especially after the consumption of Borsec carbonated mineral water. As for obese patients included in study groups, it was determined that fractional Borsec water consumption (300 ml, 5 times a day) significantly contributed to weight loss, by inhibiting appetite.

2012: Study by the National Institute for Rehabilitation, Physical Medicine and Balneoclimatology


In 2012, a study was conducted at the National Institute for Rehabilitation, Physical Medicine and Balneoclimatology, whose main objective was to identify and highlight the benefits incurred by the consumption of Borsec carbonated mineral water in metabolic syndrome patients, as a complementary solution, auxiliary to existing means of healing. The study was conducted on 45 people, whose data and characteristics were subject to statistical analysis for 4 weeks. During this time, the subjects ingested, on a daily basis, for one month, 2 litres of Borsec carbonated mineral water, and the results were compared to subjects consuming tap water.

Conclusions of the study


A significant decreasing trend in blood glucose, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.

The tendency to decrease the level of serum uric acid.

The CO2 in carbonated natural water increases insulin sensitivity. This effect seems directly proportional to the water mineralization degree.

Other inflammation markers also decreased, respectively C-reactive protein, MCP-1, TNF-beta, interleukin 6, all of which play an important role in inflammatory processes and in the formation of the atheromatous plaque.

All these beneficial changes may point to a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and inflammatory conditions. This, therefore is very good news; Borsec carbonated mineral water is of interest for lowering cardiovascular risk in patients with metabolic syndrome. Consumption of the water by patients with hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidaemia, and abdominal-type obesity can lead to decreased serum glucose, increased insulin sensitivity, decreased total serum cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, as well as uric acid. The blood vessel protecting and anti-inflammatory effects are proven by a decrease in the level of proinflammatory syndrome markers.