Amid soaring interest in dairy-alternative beverages, J.C. Hanley, the co-founder and COO of cold-pressed juice brand Forager, saw an opportunity to introduce a new multi-serve package for his company’s nut milk offerings. While Hanley set his sights on an almond milk-centric line, a conversation with Errol Schweizer, the Global Executive Grocery Coordinator for Whole Foods Market, nudged him in a different direction.
Taking into consideration California’s sustained drought and the immense amount of water used to grow almonds (the number is said to be around a gallon for a single nut), 80 percent of which are grown in the state, Schweizer suggested an alternative plan for Forager. The result is a new line of 28 oz. cashew milk and seed milk products that recently launched in Whole Foods Northern California division and are coming soon to the retailer’s stores in the Southern Pacific and Rocky Mountain regions.
The nut milks are, like all Forager products, high pressure processed (HPP) and made with organic ingredients. Sold at $6.99 per package, the beverages are value-priced in comparison to single-serve varieties on the market, and while the products are sold in refrigerated coolers, Hanley noted that they’re placed in a different part of the store that pasteurized nut milks from Califia and Silk, among other brands.
The addition of the new products follows the launch of Forager’s new 40,000 sq. ft. facility in Indio, Calif. Despite only recently beginning production in the new space, Hanley said that the company has since added new equipment to keep supply in line with growing sales of Forager products. Hanley expects to see even greater demand for the brand’s juices and nut milks with a planned distribution expansion in the Northeast.
Watch this video, filmed within Forager’s booth at the 2015 Natural Products Expo West, as Hanley talks more about the new multi-serve products as well as a new Avocado Tomato juice blend that he views as indicative of Forager’s approach to innovation. Hanley also discusses the development of the company’s new production facility and why it, unlike similar cold-pressed juice operations, does not have an HPP machine.