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Hi, friends! Kasia here. Our travels have been a bit of a whirlwind, which actually made our next stop, Chuice, a perfectly timed destination. Chuice is cleverly named, because it’s a juice you can chew—an ideal alternative to the junk we so often eat on the go. And though it comes in a small bottle, it’s chock full of 35+ fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and herbs.

Chuice’s founders started out making their product by hand 1 gallon at a time and selling them from the back of a car. Now, the brand is stocking Atlanta-based Whole Foods shelves. But creating such a different product also requires educating consumers about its many benefits, because as CEO and physician Sujit Sharma puts it, “There are enough snake oils that have been sold for decades.” Here’s how the team wants to enlighten the public about Chuice’s many health perks:

So, why chew it? Why not just blend it all together? 

“We’ve had a lot of people suggest we liquefy Chuice more to make it more like a juice,” Sujit says. “But that not only removes our point of distinction, it also removes a crucial step for digestion—chewing is meant to be part of our eating experience for a reason.”

In addition to Sujit, the Chuice team includes holistic living guru Ladell Hill, owner of the abovementioned car, and the duo is passionate about whole food ingredients.

“Eating and living well shouldn’t be as hard as it is today,” Sujit says. “The Southeastern U.S. is not known for food innovation, but given the prevalence of heart disease here, this is where a product like ours, as a snack or small meal replacement, is needed most.”

Educating consumers is definitely going to be a challenging process because the product is so unique (and awkwardly delicious), Sujit says. But the folks behind Chuice are dedicated to cutting through all the noise and confusion about health to build trust. For example, Sujit cites fiber as being one of the most important nutrients missing in the American diet, but Chuice has a nutrient density that can’t be found in 99% of grab-and-go bottled products on the market today. 

“We want people to be better informed, regardless of whether or not they’re buying our product,” Sujit says. To do so, the team plans on ramping up digital marketing and engaging people through email marketing campaigns as well as ads on Facebook and Instagram

“If we can become a ‘gateway’ product, of sorts, that eases the journey toward more plant-based eating, then we’ve done something valuable for society,” Sujit says.

Chuice is primarily carried in grocery stores like Whole Foods, but it’s also transitioned into direct-to-consumer sales (DTC).

“The extra challenge for DTC is not having the luxury of an in-person, more intimate, introduction to Chuice,” Sujit says. “Also, unlike getting to try a small sample in-person, with DTC we have to convince the potential customer that it’s worth jumping in to purchase without a sample first.”

The Chuice team has already launched a successful subscription model. They hope to use it to help people see how good it feels to eat more plant-based whole foods instead of processed options—and to get them to spend more time in the produce section. “Value can go a long way and is more important than just straight up sales numbers,” Sujit says.

Sujit adds: “As a doctor who is part of a healthcare industry that is good at taking care of people when they’re sick, joining forces with Ladell has allowed me to participate in a real and important disease prevention opportunity. I’m beyond grateful, as it has helped me become more well-rounded as a physician.”