On the bleeding edge of juice innovation is something called “chewable juice,” a subset inhabited by a handful of brands, including Chuice and Harvest Soul. The beverages made up of fruit and vegetable juices that are blended with herbs, nuts and seeds that are finely chopped, as opposed to pulverized.
While Chuice (an abbreviation of “chewable juice”), is carried by a just handful of retailers in its home market of Atlanta, Ga., Taste of Earth Acquisition LLC, which markets the brand, recently received a major cash infusion via former Alibaba executive Sanjay Varma, who invested $500,000 in the company.
Currently offered in two varieties, Red: The River of Life, and Green: The Forest, Chuice beverages are made with over 30 ingredients, including spinach, oranges, carrots, pumpkin seeds, brussel sprouts, pecans and honey. Positioned as healthy meal replacements, the drinks are packaged in 12 oz. plastic bottles and high pressure processed.
Varma had been the vice-president in charge of business development and third-most senior executive at Alibaba, the massive Chinese e-commerce company, which, following a September, 2014 initial public offering, is valued at over $212 billion. In a company statement, Varma called Chuice, an “innovative and tasty new food concept” and noted that he “had never seen anything like it and saw incredible market potential.”
Varma’s investment gave him a minority ownership position in Taste of Earth, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The company, which was founded by wellness consultant and fitness trainer Ladell Hill and headed by Dr. Sujit Sharma, a physician at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, is seeking an additional $4 million from other investors to support a national expansion for Chuice, the Chronicle reported.