Bottled water has been the most popular consumer drink for a little over two decades now. Since there are several brands now, a current popular sales strategy with many water companies is to advertise it as unique (such as being vitamin-enhanced) and something that the population just can’t live without. What makes Waiakea stand out, however, is the fact that they’re Hawaiian-based. Much of the U.S. population is still sold on the idea that just because something’s from Hawaii that it’s very health beneficial. The other thing is that Waiakea water is actually filtered volcanic water. Their water is filtered from that running the 14,000 feet of Mauna Loa’s porous rock.
Waiakea was co-founded in 2012 by Ryan Emmons. He was just 22 at the time and was looking to reach young health- and environmentally-conscious people. He succeeded by advertising Waiakea as a sustainable product with original health benefits, and packaging that gives back to the water-starved Malawi communities. Emmons stated that one of the things that has made him stand out from the beginning is the fact that almost everyone else in the bottled water industry is at least in their fifties so he and the other younger beverage entrepreneurs have basically had to come together to be taken just as seriously.
Since 2012, Waiakea’s profits have grown to over 4000 percent with an average annual growth of 170 percent. Waiakea went from selling 2,304 to a whopping 122,400 cases by 2015. This was due largely to local distributors signing onto it very quickly and food industry giants, such as Whole Foods also re-selling it.
Emmons was a recipient of the 2018 Citizenship Awards by Specialty Food Magazine. He is a lifelong surfer and outdoorsmen who has a lifelong fascination with the workings of water. Aside from being volcanic, Waiakea water also contains several minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and electrolytes.