To Take Apple Cider Brand National, Miller’s Big Red Enlists Newly Formed HPP Detroit

Sustained demand for cold-pressed juice continues to draw interest from companies of all sizes — and ages. Last month, Miller’s Big Red, a 50-year-old apple cider maker based in Michigan, announced its entry into the segment of cold-pressed, high pressure processed (HPP) juices.


Miller’s products are currently distributed locally, however, Jeff Mulholland, a partner at the company, said that he hopes to take the brand national as the first all-natural HPP line of apple cider blends.

“We have seen the explosion of the cold press juice market and believe that blended all natural apple ciders can carve out a piece of this space,” he said in a press release.

Miller’s enlisted the newly established tolling facility HPP Detroit, a new venture launched by HPP machine manufacturer NEXT HPP, for processing of its ciders, which will include a range of flavor varieties such as Apple and Peach, Apple and Orange and Apple and Blueberry, among several others in the pipeline.

“HPP now gives us that capability,” Mulholland told BevNET. “It’s a game-changer for a brand that works with seasonal products to be able to now have a year round product line.”

“The apple business is big in Michigan, fruit is very big in Michigan,” HPP Detroit Managing Partner Keith Sirois said in the release. “We believe our facility can be a vehicle for not only Big Red, but for many of these innovative fruit farms looking to enter the High Pressure Processed Juice business.”

Mulholland said that HPP Detroit will house four HPP machines operated by the former HPP staff of gourmet food brand Garden Fresh, which was acquired by the Campbell Soup Company earlier this year. Garden Fresh uses HPP for its hummus and salsa products, and the staff’s operational expertise is something that Mulholland pointed to as a key aspect of Miller’s deal with HPP Detroit.

“Everyone’s been talking about HPP, but the problem with it is it’s not only an expensive category to get into because the machines are expensive, but you also have to have people who know how to run these things,” said Mulholland. “So we’re lucky Garden Fresh is being consumed by Campbell’s, because we now have this staff that’s been running HPP machines for five years already.”