Ryan Emmons co-founded Waiakea water in 2012. Emmons, a frequenter of Hawaii, became very impressed with the quality of the water there. The naturally pure water source, found near the town of Hilo on the Big Island, boasts a unique combination of minerals and pH. Combined with an aquifer that recharges at 1.4 billion gallons, this water was a veritable liquid goldmine. Since its creation Waiakea water has gone on to earn a market value of $10 million dollars, and a growth rate of 170%.
This is due to two and half factors. First the health benefit of the water. A naturally occurring high rate of pH makes Waiakea Water one of the healthiest forms of bottle water to drink. Secondly, its sustainability, which greatly benefits the society and environment, surround it. The half comes from the fact it is filtered by an active volcano. This makes the company fit a model for success only found in the world of bottled water.
Companies that operate in the bottled water market know that health, environment, and sustainability are selling factors. All these companies are selling the same product, water, so they have to able to set themselves apart. The healthy addition of minerals and a good pH balance attracts health conscious consumers. As environmental issues gain more ground, the need to go green becomes paramount. Bottled water threatens the environment because the discarded plastic overcrowds landfills, and overloads the ocean. Although most water bottles boast that they are 100% recyclable, this has no effect if consumers just dump them into the sea. Many turn to refillable bottles, but Waiakea has upped the ante. They can make their bottles disappear.
Plastic degrades at a rate of 1000 years. The new bottles Waiakea will start using this year degrade in 15. This is huge. Given time and saturation if the world were to switch to Waiakea the 8 million tons of bottles dumped into the ocean per year would become part of a cycle. Every year a previous 8 million would erode away. It may not be a significant difference but it is a noticeable one.