Which were the best selling water ionizers in 2010? Changes in the industry made naming a clear-cut winner in 2010 more difficult than in previous years. “Favorite” products were “cloned,” renamed, revamped, repackaged and “mudslinging” reached an all-time high – adding confusion and distrust in an industry that was already challenging to navigate.
We’ve done our best to sort through the data based on sales and inquiries to come up with the winners in 2010.
I’m calling it the KYK Generation II. But there’s some controversy here -
2009′s best seller, the KYK Genesis completely disappeared from the market in early 2010. It was replaced by three different water ionizers that were pretty much identical to the KYK Genesis as far as design, components and price. The red and black face was replaced with silver and the wattage was increased from 150 to 250 or 300 watts – depending on the model. AND it was sold under three different names throughout the year at different times by different companies – four if you count the original KYK Genesis which was available until the end of March.
The fact of the matter is that the IonQuench and the “Genesis Platinum” were nothing more than “knock-off’s” of 2009′s best selling water ionizer, the KYK Genesis. Customers weren’t looking for an EOS product like the IonQuench or the Genesis Platinum – they were looking for the KYK Genesis and the EOS knock-off’s where the closest thing they could get to that.
Now that KYK is back with the KYK Generation II, customers can get “the real deal.” Still made by KYK, still operates the same as the original KYK Genesis, same features & functions – only in it’s “next generation” version – which is why the company named it the KYK Generation II. By 4th quarter this was evident as sales of Water for Life USA’s “Genesis Platinum” from EOS dropped significantly while the KYK Generation II began reclaiming the market share held by the company’s original KYK Genesis.
Here are breakdowns of sales of the original KYK Genesis and its “Clones” by model/brand name – then a sales breakdown of the “KYK Genesis & Clones” compared to sales of all other models combined:
Simple – bang for your buck. At $1,695 the KYK Genesis/Generation 2 (and all of it’s knock-off’s) offered more features, functions and options than almost any other water ionizer in its price class.
4 alkaline, 4 acidic presets plus a standard neutral/purified setting, options to adjust the power at each of the alkaline presets, dual filtration and installation options that don’t include having a diverter hanging from your faucet with a hose running to the unit are just some of the features the KYK Genesis/Generation II offered customers.
You can read the full review of what makes this model so popular on this page.
Several weeks ago, Water for Life USA informed its dealers that they would no longer fulfill dealer wholesale orders. The only way anyone can purchase a Genesis Platinum is directly through Water for Life USA or one of the company’s affiliates.
Overall, the Tyent brand clearly took 2nd place as a whole but their TURBO 7070 model was the best seller in 2010. Sales of the TURBO 7070 model began to drop off around the middle of the year when Tyent launched their 9090 TURBO Extreme model.
While the TURBO 7070 was a solid performer and continues to be a popular choice, the 9090 TURBO Extreme model offered some key upgrades which, when paired with Tyent’s reputation for quality and performance, made it the number one choice for customers wanting the “best of the best.”
Where the 7070 TURBO model operated at a maximum of 285 watts with 7 plates, the 9090 TURBO model gave customers a 9-plate option – and power like never before. 375 watts of power at the highest setting.
The additional plates and power allowed for better performance in even the most stubborn source water areas. For those with good source water for ionization, the 9090 TURBO Extreme offered a faster effective flow rate.
Where the 7070 TURBO standard model comes in white with a silver face, customers had a “black and stainless steel” option as an upgrade ($250 additional). The 9090 TURBO Extreme came with standard with stainless steel face AND customers can choose between black or white for the casing – at no additional charge.
Looks, ease of use, easy to adjust and the best warranty in the industry are a few reasons for Tyent’s popularity among shoppers.
The Tyent countertop models, although tall, are have a sleek slim design and offer customers styling options to better fit the look and feel of their kitchens.
Tyent water ionizers feature true ‘one-touch’ operation – the on/off mechanism for a Tyent water ionizer is when you touch the control panel icon that corresponds to the type of water you want to produce.
All Tyent TURBO models come with a LIFETIME warranty covering both parts and labor for as long as you own the unit – this was a big selling point for many customers.
Rounding out the top three is the line of AQ Series water ionizers from Watershed Wellness Center.
Anyone who has done research on water ionizers has no doubt run across the book “Miraculous Properties of Ionized Water.” This book was written by the owner/founder of Watershed Wellness Center, Bob McCauley.
McCauley feels strongly about alkaline ionized water as part of an overall health and longevity plan and has committed to making the technology available to as many people as possible. To do this he researched and found the most affordable line of water ionizers available that offered consumers. With water ionizers starting as low as $650 and topping out at $1,995 for their under counter “Odyssey” model, he has done just that. (due to manufacturing price increases the cost of these models will be going up sometime in early 2011 however the company is committed to keeping the pricing as affordable as possible)
Simple. Price. With the growing awareness of the benefits of drinking alkaline ionized water the consumer pool expanded to include customers with a need to keep their initial investment down significantly from the average $1,700 – $2,500 price range. While you don’t get the same looks or bells and whistles with a Watershed AQ Series that you would get with the top two best selling product lines, you will get a good quality water ionizer capable of producing alkaline ionized water with a 5-year warranty.
Watershed’s AQ700 model with 7 plates and priced at $1,499 was MUCH more attractive to the “budget-minded” than Enagic’s 7-plate SD501 at $3,985. Even at the significantly lower price, the AQ700 offered features and functions not found on Enagic models – adjustability within the alkaline presets, “safe default,” 3 different internal filter options and more convenient automated cleaning.
Where Enagic models default back to the last setting used – whether alkaline or acidic – Watershed water ionizers will always default back to an alkaline setting that is safe for drinking.
The automated cleaning cycle on the Watershed units runs on a timer at 12-hour intervals. If it’s been 12-hours or longer since the last cleaning cycle, your Watershed will run a 15-second cleaning cycle prior to dispensing alkaline or acidic water the next time you turn the unit on.
While the Watershed models do not use any sort of chemical enhancer solution – Enagic is the only company that promotes that – the counter top Watershed models do have a mineral port where calcium can be added to boost performance at the alkaline levels if necessary.
Watershed’s 5-plate model, the AQ500, was the best seller at $999. Sales of the 7 and 4 plate models was about even. Zero returns. Zero customer issues reported.
For most of the year and overall, Chanson won the battle for best selling under-counter water ionizer with their 7-plate VS70 model. For most people it was a simple choice. 7-plates, 5-year warranty on parts & labor and lifetime warranty on parts for $2,195 vs $2,695 for Jupiter’s 5-plate Delphi (same warranty as Chanson). The $500 difference won it for Chanson.
That being said, we did see an increase in sales of the Delphi models in 2010 over 2009.
Again, as more and more people become aware of the benefits of drinking alkaline ionized water, the consumer pool has broadened significantly. Not only are more “budget-minded” buyers entering the market but also more “design-minded” buyers. Side-by-side, the Delphi wins against the VS70 when it comes to looks. Given that both models produce alkaline and acidic water at comparable levels, more consumers were willing to pay the extra $500 for the Delphi’s sleeker look.
As the demand for under-counter options has increased, several companies added an under-c0unter model to their product line-up.
Water for Life USA launched their under-counter model, the Revelation in mid-2010 through a pre-sale event. Sales were sluggish and reviews have been mixed. At this point, Water for Life USA no longer has active dealers nor is an exclusive importer of any line.
Enagic came out with an under-counter version of their SD501 model – customers purchasing this model have been happy with it but at $5,000 it’s out of reach for many customers.
In December of 2010, Tyent rolled out its 9000T under counter model. Over the years I’ve had more callers ask about an under counter version of a Tyent water ionizer than any other brand. After years in development, the company finally launched their UCE-9000T which features all of the one-touch convenience of a Tyent all in a slim faucet.
It will be interesting to see who wins the “under counter” category next year and if under counter model sales start creeping up on the top selling counter top models.
We don’t usually see a lot of sales of water ionizers that are offered through MLM’s. Most of these customers are buying from the independent distributor who first introduced them to water ionizers. For this reason it’s hard to say just how well these units are selling.
That being said, we did have a couple of SD501 sales through Water Ionizer Authority last year along with an Alka-Life unit. We’ve been averaging one or two sales a year on these products. Again, most of these customers are buying from a local independent distributor and joining their multi-level marketing program. When someone contacts us with questions about one of these units, one of the first things we ask is if they are already working with a distributor in their area. If they say “yes” we refer the customer back to their local distributor to make the purchase.
If KYK continues its rebound trend it could come out on top again in 2011. The $1,695 price point seems to be the level where consumers are most comfortable when it comes to water ionizer technology. But Tyent made serious inroads last year in percentage of sales. If there are no major changes in the industry in 2011 I believe we’ll see Tyent and KYK battling it out for “best selling brand” next year.
I also expect to see sales of under counter models continue to increase. Between water ionizer “word of mouth” and national concerns with water quality driving consumers to research water filtration options – where the stumble upon water ionizer technology – the market will continue to broaden.
Most water ionizer customers fall into a “health apparatus consumer” category. They don’t mind an extra appliance on their kitchen counter top or in their bathroom. However, the broadening market is bringing in a different type of consumer – more concerned with how a product will integrate with the style and function of their homes. As this segment of the water ionizer market expands, I expect to see more customers opt for “under counter” design.
In fact, since Tyent launched their 9000T under-counter we’ve already seen a spike in under-counter sales compared to previous months.
When the economy is down, MLM’s are up. People are looking for ways to generate additional income and “network marketing” or “multi-level marketing” companies offer that. Pair that with a growing interest in natural health and health related products and the water ionizer industry is primed for a boom in new “independent distributors” and sales. The winners here will be companies that have shaped their programs to offer “easy to enter” opportunities – either through financing or affordable distributor fees, companies that offer a variety of “health related” products and those who have base products that are affordable or easily financed.
Also, I expect to see an increase in activity through affiliate programs offered by water ionizer companies. Affiliate programs are basically “referral programs” where the customer/affiliate refers customers to the parent company’s main website. Orders placed through affiliate link referrals are registered and the “affiliate” receives a commission on the sales. Multi-tier affiliate programs will see the largest growth. No one really wants to share the “affiliate opportunity” with a friend and be left out of the loop when their friend signs up and begins making referral sales. Multi-tier affiliate programs that go at least 2 deep (you get commission on your referrals and you also get a commission on sales from people who sign up through you) will see the largest growth.
While “mid-range” priced models have been the big winner in years past, as the economy creates a sharper divide between the “have’s” and “have not’s” I expect to see that reflected in consumer water ionizer choices. More “high-end” and “low-end” sales and a decline in “mid-range” priced models. I don’t know that a mid-range model won’t be the top seller next year, but I do expect to see a more equal spread.
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