BevNET TV: An Interview with Jon & Mark Sider of Greater Than

In sports, timing and vision are important. So in September, 2009, when Mark and Jon Sider, a pair of highly competitive athletes and brothers, thought they saw a niche of white space in the sports drink category, they went for it. Despite the category’s domination by Gatorade, the brothers felt that the category had room for an all-natural product and that coconut water was the key to its creation. Less than a year later, Greater Than hit the shelves.

Like many entrepreneurial beverage companies, the Siders launched Greater Than in their home city — in their case, Chicago.  The Siders continue to work out of that the Chicago market, hoping that building a base there will give them the key to unlocking the Midwest and, eventually, distribution to other parts of the country. Considering that the Siders currently self-distribute, it may not be an easy road, but within its first year, Greater Than has managed to convince approximately 150 retailers in Chicago, including a number of Whole Foods, to carry the product.

In this video, filmed at the recently held NACS show, the Sider brothers explain the reasoning for their self-distribution model in Chicago, outline Greater Than’s unique positioning in the sports drink category, and discuss how the company is focusing on brand building first and foremost.