In this edition of CEO Corner, we speak with Devon Price and Peter Bayne, Co-Founders, and owners of VitaNav, a functional beverage company, whose main product, Kenetik, is a ketone-based beverage. VitaNav was founded in 2018, and Kenetik is the result of years of research and experimentation in harnessing the power of ketones without the strict keto diet.
How did VitaNav get started?
Peter Bayne: Devon and I first set out to create a drink – for us at first – that provided a boost of that clean, healthy ketone energy. We wanted to have easy access to ketones to supplement any diet. We were craving an alternative to the caffeinated, sugar-laden energy drinks lining store shelves.
Devon Price: When we set out to create VitaNav Inc, we were determined to help people get the most out of life by providing the brain and body boost people need to stay healthier and meet the demands of their busy days. It’s important to note that Ketosis is the condition the body enters when there are not enough carbohydrates, e.g., glucose, available to burn for energy. During ketosis, the body burns fats, and ketones are the result. This provides a clean, potent alternative energy source for the brain. Historically, accessing ketones as an energy source required fasting or a ketogenic diet to achieve. Research has shown, however, that consumption of exogenous ketones can induce nutritional ketosis and provide energy from ketones on any diet.
Our mission at VitaNav is to make it possible to reach sustained energy, better focus, and brain health by supercharging nature’s powerful human fuel into an easily consumed drink.
Tell us more about your business background.
Devon: My own background as a scientist and engineer in healthcare played a key role, and Peter is an entrepreneur with a passion for food and beverage. Together, we joined forces as brothers, athletes, parents, and health enthusiasts. We discovered the power of ketones through early experimentation with the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting. The feeling of energy, focus and flow was incredible.
How did you come up with the idea for Kenetik?
Peter: Kenetik is a powerful and delicious ketone beverage that can provide the brain and body boost you need to meet the demands of your busy day. Our new generation of ketones, pure D-beta-hydroxybutyric acid, is the source of this boost. It’s the same ketone molecule our bodies make, only made from renewable plants through a sustainable process. One bottle of Kenetik has the equivalent ketone power as 10g of ketone ester.
Devon: It didn’t come easy. Finding the right plant-based ingredients, testing, and refining and starting over to create something that works well and also tastes great took more perseverance and dedication than either of them expected. But we’re glad we did, and we’re excited to share it with the world. We hope you enjoy Kenetik as much as we do.
What important milestones has your company accomplished?
Devon: There were several in the last year but probably the most important is the science behind the product and brand that we are so proud of. Kenetik has participated in many studies and was recently identified as the best overall ketone product in a recent clinical study, led by Dr. Jonathan P. Little of the University of British Columbia. Dr. Little’s study compared Kenetik against ketone ester and pure R-1,3BD products and looked at the effects of each product on circulating ketone levels, glucose levels, gastrointestinal distress, and supplement acceptability.
The team noted though, that Kenetik has the distinct advantage of being more acceptable to consumers because of its taste, ease of consumption (Kenetik comes in both a ready-to-drink version as well as a concentrate), and how the consumer feels after drinking it. For years, scientists have been learning about the exciting functional benefits of ketones. The remaining challenge has been to create a ketone supplement that works well, and that people want to consume regularly. We believe Kenetik is the first product to do that. It is sugar- and caffeine-free contains just 60 calories a serving and is flavored with actual fruit.
Peter: We are also excited that The American Brain Council (ABC) named VitaNav’s Kenetik Ketone Drink its “Preferred Product” in the category. The Council stated that Kenetik tasted better, cost less per serving and was easier to use than competing products. In addition, the study found that Kenetik was as effective or more so than other drinks at boosting ketone levels in the body and that it does not require a user to get acclimated to it. The ABC report cited numerous benefits to the brain and central nervous system that ketones can produce. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Crohn’s patients could benefit from ketone drinks along with those fighting ALS, MS, diabetes and hypertension according to the ABC.
The benefits of ketosis have become clear to researchers, and the fact that exogenous ketones can produce the condition in the human body is important. Fasting or following a ketogenic diet long enough to achieve ketosis is hard, and it’s just not practical for a lot of people. A drink that can produce nutritional ketosis isn’t helpful though if people can’t or won’t swallow it.
The very first product in this category was reviewed in Inc. magazine a while ago, and the taste was compared to nail polish remover. In addition, it cost more than Dom Perignon by volume. Kenetik has overcome these two points of resistance with a great fruit-flavored taste and a more affordable price. And we are continuing to improve and vary the flavors and lower the cost of production.
Where can folks buy or learn more about the company? drinkkenetik.com or follow up @drinkkenetik