Ten years ago when Mark Jensen was at the peak of his training for the triathlons in which he competed, he began seeking a better way to fuel his workouts. “I drank a lot of Gatorade and consumed other products like it, but I really started to question how products with artificial colors and flavors and high concentrations of fructose and sucrose could help me run better.”
Jensen began searching for an alternative to products like that and made it the topic of his MBA thesis. “Eventually, I figured out that the simplest solution was the best and thought if I could create something like an Intravenous (IV) bag, that would be perfect.”
Jensen discovered that IV drips given to athletes during and after competition were made up of water, glucose, sodium and potassium, so he set out to create a product that closely replicated that formula.
That’s when Glukos was born.
Jensen developed a line of drinks, gels, powders and bars that followed his natural formula built around five ingredients: water, glucose, electrolytes, potassium and sodium. He added fruit and vegetable flavors for taste.
Jensen says glucose, one of the prime ingredients in the branded Glukos products, is a simple carbohydrate that is quickly absorbed into the human body through the cell walls of the stomach. “You don’t have to spend energy digesting it so it works,” he says, “and as a result this product works two times faster than other energy products.”
Glukos is already sell ing powders and early 2015 will begin shipping gels, beverages, bars and tablets to retailers. Glukos plans to target sports specialty retailers, starting with running stores and branching out to outdoor stores and healthy grocery stores. CEO Mick McCormick, a former Nike and Columbia executive, says Glukos has no plans to move into the food, drug and mass markets.
“We want to work with retailers who are great at storytelling in their stores,” McCormick says. “We believe this is a big opportunity for sports specialty stores and would love to see stores create Energy Centers in their stores focused on this category.”
McCormick realizes that Glukos has to work on telling its own story. “Other products on the market have done a great job of promoting caffeine as an energy source and we strongly disagree with that premise. Caffeine makes your heart pump faster, but in terms of real fuel, we believe Glukos is better.”
McCormick and his team plan an aggressive consumer outreach which will include participation at race day consumer expos and in-store grass roots events. He says the goal is to get 20 million trials in the next 12 months and be in more than 2,500 retail doors by the end of 2015.
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