So the other day a giant box with a Home Depot logo showed up at my office with my name on it. It weighed a ton, but I had no idea what it was. After procuring a knife, I pulled out a case of Kona Deep, the deep sea water produced in Kona. Previously, I’ve only tasted this water at Ocean Vodka–they use it to blend with their distillate product for their distinctive Maui-made vodka. They also offer you a sip–and only a sip–of Kona Deep at their tasting bar.
Previously available only in Japan, you can now purchase Kona Deep at local markets, and get a taste for yourself. So what makes this water so special that you’ll pay $40 a case for it? I asked the guys at Kona Deep–specifically, CEO Pat Turpin–what makes their product worth it.
MAUITIME: What are some of the benefits to drinking Kona Deep?
Pat Turpin: We’re creating a new category of bottled water. Until now, consumers had to choose between natural spring water for purity and highly processed, artificially enhanced “performance” waters. We’re proud to offer bottled water drinkers a water that does not make them choose between purity and performance. The new brand offers both–the purity of a trusted, natural source with nothing artificial, nothing added and the hydration benefits of deep ocean electrolytes.
In addition, unlike other bottled waters, Kona Deep is naturally rich in electrolytes that are crucial for hydration and body balance. We believe the combination of Kona Deep’s unique blend of naturally occurring, ionically charged electrolytes and relatively neutral PH results in a deep hydration you can feel with a taste that can only come from Kona Deep.
MT: How long has Kona Deep been bottling water?
PT: Kona Deep Corporation first started bottling water in 2008. At that time, however, the company was focused on Asia where there was an established market for deep ocean water. Most recently in mid-2014, with a new leadership team in place, Kona Deep began bottling water for those in Hawaii and on the US mainland to enjoy. The new team is led by myself. I also was the founder and former CEO of the innovative and popular snack, Popchips.
MT: Why launch now?
PT: Consumer beverage preferences have dramatically shifted as people move away from sugary sodas and sports drinks and move towards healthy, natural options for their beverages. With premium bottle water sales in the U.S. skyrocketing +300 percent over the past five years, it’s clear that people are expecting more from their water, whether demanding it be from a very pure source or wanting water with added functional benefits. With Kona Deep, bottled water drinkers no longer have to choose between purity and performance. Our deep ocean water offers both qualities that people are looking for.
Additionally, we’ve enlisted a leadership team with proven brand building experience and a skilled local distribution team in Johnson Brothers of Hawaii, Inc., with the goal to create the leading North American brand of this new deep ocean water category.
MT: Is Kona deep desalinated water?
PT: Yes, it’s desalinated. Deep ocean water is difficult to access, since it’s 3,000 feet below the ocean’s surface. It is also constantly moving, making it very hard to reach and bottle. Kona Deep accesses the water through an existing pipe that brings the water to the surface, where the salt is taken out, nothing is added and the electrolyte-rich water is bottled at the source.
MT: Where are you launching?
PT: Right now Kona Deep is available in Hawaii and Arizona, and online at Amazon.com. We are also launching into other US markets and expect to be on shelves in a number of other states by summertime.
MT: Where can people purchase it?
PT: Kona Deep is currently sold in grocery stores such as Foodland and KTA, convenience stores like Minit Stop, natural stores such as Down to Earth and military exchanges like AAFES, in 500mL and 1L bottles. Additionally, some local hotel properties, including the Four Seasons Haulalai and the Fairmont Orchid, also carry our water. For a full list of retail locations, visit Konadeep.com.