Facetime: David Kitchen

David Kitchen’s, Kitchen Dream

Dr David Kitchen was born in Adelaide, South Australia where he completed all of his schooling and then went onto medical training at The Flinders University of SA. After working as a general doctor for a few years, he then undertook further advanced specialist training as an eye surgeon. He developed the idea for his revolutionary energy drink, because of how busy his life became.

“I always wanted to work somewhere regional, somewhere out in the country where my skills would be greatly needed. I looked around Australia and a friend had just moved up to QLD and so I ended up moving this way in 1996. I’ve been up working in Rockhampton and Gladstone as well as a few other coastal Queensland towns. I’ve been doing that as an eye surgeon for over 20 years now.”

“In terms of length of training in the medical field of eye surgery, you’ve got to add another five years at least to medical training; you can’t just go straight from medical school. It took me 13 years in total to get my dual Fellowships with The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of  Ophthalmologists, and that was unusually quick.

“I’m married and I’ve got four young girls aged eleven, eight and twins that are six, so it’s very busy with the family. I met my wife up this way, but she was originally from Adelaide as well where she was working as an eye nurse so that was just meant to be.

“The idea for Kanguru came along because I’m busy, I work a lot and I’m the only person on staff full-time in Central Queensland; it’s also very busy with my family life and so I used to drink energy drinks and coffee. I’m also trying to keep my weight down which isn’t helped by adding sugar and cream to my coffee. So that was my starting point- and as I started to look around and really look at the energy drink products, people would say energy drinks are bad for you but if you asked them why, they did’t know why. So I looked at that and set about seeing what I could do to make a ‘better-for-you’ energy and vitality drink. There’s a quote from Albert Einstein that I like:  “If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it”. In retrospect, I had no ida of the massive task I was about to undertake.

“One of my things that I tend to do is, I don’t ever think that I can’t do something, I just think, ‘well how can I do that?’. The next thing I knew, I was doing research about energy drinks around the world and what’s behind them and I put on my medical research hat to figure it out. We call it an evidence-based approach – what’s the evidence and the science behind something? Campanies say ‘I’ve got ingredient x and it does these wonderful things for you’ but how do we know that? Where’s the proof? You’ve got to find and have the evidence to support it, there has to be something to substantiate those claims so I took this evidence-based approach and looked at what are the highest quality, best sourced and most effective ingredients available that I should put into what I ended up calling Kanguru. How do those ingredients interact with each other as well, are there synergistic benefits? Then also, how much of each ingredient is needed to be effective; many dbrands have such tiny amounts that they don’t do anything whatsoever. It’s just marketing hype. You’ve got to have the right ingredients and in the right amounts. That’s what Kanguru is all about.

“That’s how I started developing the formula and it took me a long time to research that. Over two years and many hundreds of hours. I didn’t really stop to think, ‘can it be made?’. Then to get it into the drink was a whole other process because the botanicals are really very bitter, even more so when present in proper amounts. It’s about functionality and taste, and that’s why with Kanguru I talk about real energy, real benefits.  And like anything in life, you get what you pay for, we all now that.

“There’s nothing to hide with Kanguru; it’s all there and clearly declared and it’s the best formula I could put together and I believe it’s truly unrivalled. It’s got more ingredients with absolutely more functionality than what is around, and it’s based upon our Australian and New Zealand Food regulations. It’s being made in Australia and it meets our strict regulations as well. It’s good for you, safe and approved.

“It took me two years to get the formula perfected and then once I knew I what I wanted, I got in touch with a food scientist who helped actually put the ingredients together. I started off doing it myself, but that was very hit and miss. Then I came in contact with a gentleman who was a former Coke scientist and he was the one who made up samples for me to trial. I would then critique them for taste, look, clarity, mouthfeel and sweetness. I had an idea of what sweeteners I wanted to use and together we refined the taste profile.

“Because it’s an Australian made beverage and the kangaroo is an Australian icon, I wanted to come up with a name reflective of that and be able to trade mark and protect it. It’s amazing once you start looking, how many names around the world preclude you from using a word or words. Kangaroo was originally spelt Kanguru and the more I thought about it, I kept coming back to it. I liked the fact that when  the botanist Sir Joseph Banks was on the Endeavour in 1770  with Lieutenant, as he was at that time, James Cook and he first heard the local  Aborigines there at what would become Cooktown, use the name Kangaroo, he wrote it down as Kanguru. This was the first documented spelling of the word. It’s simply Australian, on the edge of discovery as am I with my formula and that’s how Kanguru got its name.

“I set out to to make the most functional energy and vitality beverage I could, one that would be a paragon of formulation, functionality, purpose and taste, both here in Australia and internationally, Part of my personal philosophy is the ethos about being more and our Kanguru “Be More” self-actualisation is so much more than just a catch-cry. For Kanguru, ‘Be More’ means more than a cleaner, smarter energy vitality drink. The Be More Collective is the result of our driving purpose: to do more than just talk, and to empower real Australians with real goals, to feel like their aspirations are never beyond their reach.That’s why, in addition to creating this active community of those seeking inspiration, we also award a bi-monthly grant of up to $4,000 to recipients whose driving ideas, ambitions and talents deserve the support to become a reality.Our mission is simple: By aspiring to be better and helping you to do the same, we aim to improve the world one life at a time. It’s what’s inside the can that helps us do more, and Be More, outside the can.

“We’re growing quickly, I’ve got a good team from FMCG, sales and marketing around me and I’m still working fulltime as a medical practitioner. We’re getting a good reception from the community and tarde, and we’ve got over 1,100 stockists now and we only launched properly a couple of months after Easter.It;s exciting and humbling at the same time, but with my fantastic team we plan on taking our Aussie brand Kanguru to the world.

“Kanguru is so much more than just an energy drink, it’s cleaner, smarter and jam-packed with the best ingredients and powered by premium botanicals. Kanguru’s Daily blend includes 13 tailored ingredients, with five unique, natural botanicals, each scientifically chosen based on best evidence to bring real energy and real benefits for the thinker as much as the doer.

The result is a synergistic, multifunctional sustenance beverage filled with natural benefits. As an anti-crash sugar-free energy drink, Kanguru gives you the energy and benefits to be more, every day. That means a smoother lift – because everyday life is a marathon, not just a sprint.






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