KEN UPTAIN, founder, Essentia: I was way ahead of my time
By Elaine Watson
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Many food & beverage brands hailed as category ‘disruptors’ – from Beyond Meat to EPIC– have been wildly successful straight out of the gate. Electrolyte-infused ‘ionized’ water Essentia, by contrast, ambled rather than exploded out of the blocks, but once it picked up speed, it never looked back, says founder Ken Uptain, who created the brand back in 1998.
“When I started back in 1998, I thought it was pretty disruptive, but I quickly realized that I was way ahead of my time … I was getting a lot of deer in the headlights looks when I started.”
Today, Essentia is the #1 selling bottled water in the natural channel with a 15.5% share (SPINS), outselling brands such as FIJI – and the #4 selling premium unflavored bottled water brand in conventional grocery.