Paul Kurkulis is betting that a brand of mineral-enhanced bottled water for Latinos living in the United States is not only a good idea, but a profitable one at that. His brand of bottled water, Las Oleadas, is the first of what he hopes will be several products in the marketplace that are both healthy and eco-friendly and coveted by Latino consumers. In the past three years Kukulis, who spent time in Spain as a child and speaks Spanish, went from watching Latinos in his community drinking sugar-saturated drinks to researching Latino bottled water to marketing his own brand now being sold in four states.
“I thought of it more than anything as a niche idea,” he told News Taco. But when he began to research the idea, he found otherwise. “My area is 40% Hispanic population and in general market stores where Hispanic shop, there was not a single healthy, environmentally-friendly bottled water in Spanish for these customers.”
Las Oleadas’ labels are bilingual and the product is currently being sold in Colorado, California, Nevada and Arizona with two more states coming soon, Kukulis told News Taco. He believes his product will be successful not only because of the marketing, but for the fact that 25% of Latino parents, compared to 8% of white parents, feed their children bottled water.
Which brings up an important question Kurkulis noted, if Latinos are such big consumers of bottled water, where have the big water brands been all this time? The emphasis up to now has been on volume — selling lots of bottles for a low price — rather than branding or quality, he told News Taco.
Kurkulis hopes Las Oleadas can offer quality, in a 100% recycled materials bottle that’s good for the environment, and allow Latino consumers a chance to make their own choices when it comes to water consumption. The product is currently being produced in California and sold out of Las Oleadas’ Colorado offices.
Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD.