San Francisco…Starting a beverage company in the 2000’s in a space occupied by the big boys (Coke, Pepsi, and Sprite) isn’t easy. Tweaking water into a popular drink is a formidable challenge, unless you’re on a personal mission. That’s what happened to Kara Goldin in 2005 when she started Hint, a delicious, unsweetened flavored water. “We almost immediately looked into kosher certification,” Kara says, “and we could not be happier that we did.” She adds: Many of our Jewish customers appreciate knowing that our products are prepared under the supervision of the OU (Orthodox Union).” According to food experts, Hint is a big hit with kosher consumers, many of whom are also trying to avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners these days, just as Kara has done.
The way Kara tells it, explains why she gave up a job at AOL to build a successful company, $90 million in sales. “I was overweight, had low energy and suffering from adult acne,” she says. In short, she knew that it was time to make some life changes and put her health first. Despite making changes to her workout and diet regimens, she was still having trouble reaching her health goals. After some reflection, Kara finally pinpointed the problem: she was addicted to diet soda. In fact, she was drinking 8-10 cans a day. After researching ingredients in diet soda and realizing she didn’t know what was going into her body, she quit cold turkey and turned to water.
Plain water proved to be a quick fix, but Kara hated how bland it was and didn’t think it would be a long-term solution. In an effort to keep up her new habit, she began cutting up fruit and throwing it in pitchers of water. This little experiment in her kitchen helped her to continue drinking water and was a hit with her family and friends. And so, Hint was born. What started as a quick solution to her own health problems soon turned into a successful product and then together with her husband Theo who joined her, a wildly successful company. Hint is only of a number of successful kosher certified products that began with an entrepreneur that sought to address personal health issues.