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Next: Gleukos

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

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It was the packaging that caught our eye. The squishy pouch that can be flattened once it’s empty to make room for other more important items in the backpack. True, you can’t toss it in the curbside-recycling bin when you’re done, but Mark Jenson, founder of Portland-based Gleukos, says you’re missing the point if you get hung up on that. He fell in love with the packaging concept when he traveled to Asia to study beverage markets. In Japan, he says, they just don’t have the room to deal with rigid plastic bottles. With less than 1% polyethylene terephthalate, Jenson calls what he’s doing with the Gleukos pouches “pre-cycling” because there’s less plastic involved in the first place. And Jenson figured he was on to something when he found out some runners fill baby-bottle liners with sports drink to make it easier to swig on the run. The pouches of “sweet wine” — that’s what Gleukos means in Greek — have a no-leak valve and retail for around $2.25 at stores such as Whole Foods and Wild Oats. Glucose-based Gleukos is free of the reviled high-fructose corn syrup that other jock drinks use. Which is why its marketing slogan is the sly: “See you later ’gator.”

CHRISTINA WILLIAMS

 

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