Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Boston Globe Glass of Juice

It's not for me or you.....

"Recipe for success in juicing field is anything but smooth" by Megan Woolhouse Globe Staff  April 19, 2016

The reality of the juice business can be a messy one.

The economics of selling fresh juice to the thirsty masses comes with the challenge of convincing regular people that a $10 drink is worth it.

Although sales in the overall $15 billion US juice market have been slipping for years, the niche industry of fresh, high-end juices — laced with such odd ingredients as activated charcoal and cayenne pepper — are strong, according to Gary A. Hemphill, director of research at the Beverage Marketing Corp., an industry consultant in New York.

In Boston alone, more than a dozen juice vendors have cropped up in recent years, with more on the way.

“The marketplace has gotten more specialized and newer products aren’t necessarily targeting the mass market, but a more narrow type of consumer with very specific needs,” Hemphill said.

Standing out in a sea of green juice, though, can hard.

“For smaller companies trying to enter the marketplace, it’s very difficult to compete, and they’re generally looking for a unique niche,” said Hemphill.

It's a fancy way of saying the economy is contracting.

Enter Thirst Juice Co. The shop caters to a high volume of regulars, which helps in purchasing, but like any small business, it must also expect the unexpected. Recently one of its juicers broke, forcing the store to operate with a limited menu.

The $uce$$ story already going sour!

Co-owner Heather Stevenson and her husband, both marathoners, left their jobs as Manhattan corporate attorneys to start the business in November 2014, just before the record-breaking winter, which had so much snow that fruit deliveries couldn’t make it into the city. Faced with high-end rent to pay, the couple quickly began offering other items, like soup.

Do they make this stuff up? 

Marathoners that quit their jobs as corporate attorneys to go into the juice business?

Eighteen months later, the business is now profitable, but Stevenson said her husband recently returned to a job in law.

“I don’t think anyone should go into juicing thinking about getting rich,” she said. “It’s a business.”


Cocobeet founder and owner Onur Ozkoc, 32, agreed that making money is difficult, even though his juices and smoothies, including the premade ones, cost $10 or more.

Should have gone into banking or war-profiteering instead.

“The margins are very tight,” he said, declining to cite exact numbers.

It's "the cost of almonds from Spain and coconuts from Thailand," and I think we just discovered a clue to a crime in California.

So much for the drought, huh?

Many of the shop’s 43 products hinge on his investment in a $35,000 juicer. Also required: a staff of three people dedicated solely to cleaning the machine.

What makes him confident in the business is the buzz that surrounds all things health and wellness related. It’s rare to spot a celebrity who isn’t sporting a green juice in hand, a trend that now has mass appeal.

This is reminiscent of the "Green Consumerism" campaign pushed by corporations back in the early '90s!

With help from an unnamed venture capital firm, Ozkoc plans to open several new locations, including a spot in Wellesley and another in Jakarta, Indonesia. He declined to disclose the name of the firm, but said he hopes an expansion will help with profitability.

Much of the appeal to diehard juice lovers is the fact that the juice is raw and thereby thought to be more nutritious because it contains plant nutrients and enzymes thought to be lost in pasteurization. Cold-pressed juices, as the name suggests, involves grinding fruit and vegetables into pulp and using a hydraulic press to extract juice.

Like that is some new discovery or something. 

Isn't that how they make wine?

Michael Karsch, a New York hedge fund manager who left Wall Street to invest in the Juice Press chain, said the world of juice, logistics, and the law is one that takes years to learn to navigate.

One of the biggest challenges is navigating the intersection of city, state, and federal laws; even definitions of a wholesaler vary from state to state, he said. In Massachusetts, he said authorities wanted him to juice and sell on site, not remotely, which was different from a wholesaler definition in New York.

Karsch said the juicing industry has seen its share of casualties, particularly as businesses try to grow in scale. Organic Avenue, a New York-based chain, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last fall.

He declined to cite specifics about his company’s financials, but said Juice Press is “generating margins.” If the company goes public one day — as is his hope — it must learn from others’ mistakes....



That tasted terrible and it wasn't the kale.


"PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said Monday the company is reshaping its product lineup to better reflect the growing interest in healthy eating and noted it has reduced its reliance on colas for sales. The maker of Frito-Lay snacks, Mountain Dew, Naked juices and Quaker Oats now gets less than 25 percent of its global sales from soda, Nooyi said. And she said just 12 percent of global sales comes from its namesake soda. The remarks underscore PepsiCo’s recent shift in tone as the world’s biggest soda brands have been pressured by intensifying competition and a bad image for fueling weight gain in markets such as the United States. With soda consumption continuing to decline domestically, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have been trying to push up sales by weaning people off cheaper options like 2-liter bottles and toward single-serve options or snazzier mini cans and aluminum bottles that fetch more per ounce."  

Now I have the hiccups.