Mamma Chia Goes for the Green(s)

Chia & Greens Family shotChia beverage pioneer Mamma Chia has launched a new line of chia and greens drinks that debuted this week at Safeway stores in Northern California and Haggen locations in the Southwestern U.S. Boasting higher fiber and protein counts than current green beverages on the market, Mamma Chia founder and CEO Janie Hoffman believes that the four-SKU line has the potential to “evolve the greens category in a way that we haven’t seen.”

Mamma Chia’s Chia and Greens Beverages are formulated with hydrated chia seeds, fruit juices, kale puree and what the company terms as “organic power greens,” a blend of spirulina, spinach, broccoli, barley grass and wheatgrass. The USDA Organic drinks come in four varieties: Grateful Greens (Kale & Mint), Joyful Greens (Ginger & Lemongrass), Love Greens (Beet & Ginger) and Soulful Greens (Cayenne & Lemon). Each contains 120 calories, 14 grams of sugar (from fruit juice; no sugar is added), 2500 milligrams of omega-3s, 7 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.

Packaged in the same 10 oz. glass bottle as the brand’s Chia Vitality drinks, Mamma Chia’s Chia and Greens Beverages nonetheless offer a “totally different proposition” than the flagship products, according to Matt Buckley, the Executive VP of Sales & Marketing for Mamma Chia. Buckley sees the product as attracting incremental sales from the brand’s existing consumer base as well as new buyers interested in a better-for-you green juice product, particularly those looking for a lower sugar count that other green drinks.

“Lots of folks love to be drinking greens, but when they see how many grams of sugar [are in green beverages], there’s lots of disillusionment,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman believes that there is also a significant lack of fiber in many greens-based drinks, something that the new Mamma Chia line addresses with its formulation. The focus on developing a multi-faceted and well-rounded product is a testament to the company’s leadership “in nutrition, especially when it comes to beverages,” she said.

The chia and greens drinks have an MSRP of $2.99, line-priced with Vitality products, yet Mamma Chia will attempt to establish the set with a “separate marquee,” considering the difference in formulation and flavor profile as compared to its primary line, Hoffman said. The company is aiming to go wide with the new products in time for winter 2016 resets, however, Hoffman said that the beverages will be distributed nationally in Whole Foods in October.