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Amazon just made it harder to buy hipster soda LaCroix, and people are freaking out

LaCroix, the sparkling water that's as buzzy as it is fizzy, just got that much harder to get from Amazon.

The online retailer has shifted most versions of the flavored drink from Amazon Prime or Amazon Pantry to Amazon Fresh, the grocery delivery service the company is trying to expand.

The difference is a subtle but crucial one. Amazon Prime items ship to subscribers, who pay a flat fee of $99 a year, in two days for free, and sometimes on the same day. Amazon Pantry requires ground shipping, which usually takes four business days, after you fill up a box by selecting at least five qualifying items. And Amazon Fresh, the site's grocery-specific delivery service available only in certain cities, can also deliver either same- or next-day but it costs extra: "Prime members pay $14.99/month for Fresh," according to the site.

LaCroix soda
Source: LaCroix
LaCroix soda

Effectively, LaCroix is now behind a paywall. And that's bad news for a certain subset of the population, since LaCroix ("rhymes with bourgeois") is like the non-alcoholic version of Pabst Blue Ribbon — it's the soft drink of choice for those who like to taste bubbles but don't want to drink beer. For evidence of consumers' devotion to the brand, check out the Instagram tags #LaCroixLove and #LaCroixObsessed.

And, since the cases are heavy, delivery of the trendy treat can feel like a godsend.

But Amazon giveth and Amazon taketh away. (Amazon declined to comment for this story.)

FastCompany calls Fresh "Jeff Bezos' last mile quest for total retail domination." And if luring young consumers to Fresh with LaCroix is Amazon's strategy, there are already some signs it's working.

Disappointed customers who can't or won't try Fresh can always turn to Target, which is launching its own next-day delivery service. It's already live in parts of Minnesota and, the Star-Tribune reports, "select beverages such as Pellegrino and LaCroix also were available."

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