Chia Star, a chia seed-based beverage brand, has launched a new line of dairy-free, high pressure processed (HPP) chia seed and coconut milk shakes. The product line debuted at Whole Foods locations in the retailer’s Northeast region at the top of the year and recently underwent a packaging update that coincided with a brand revamp of Chia Star.
Chia Star founder and CEO Sara Erb discussed the line extension in a call with BevNET on Tuesday.
“The coconut milk shakes came out of me thinking about meal replacements and protein shakes and how we could further expand on all of the benefits of our fully soaked chia,” Erb said.
The three-SKU line of 10 oz. shakes comes in Very Vanilla, Caramel Coconut and Cold Brew Coffee varieties, the latter of which is infused with coffee from Brooklyn-based Grady’s Cold Brew. The product includes a callout of “Made with Grady’s” on the front of the label and uses the coffee company’s logo. The Caramel Coconut protein shake, which contains 10 grams of plant-based protein via a composite of pea, quinoa and sprouted brown rice protein, will be available as a Whole Foods-exclusive item for its first six months on the market.
The new shakes feature branding that is a significant departure from Chia Star’s previous look. Erb described the revamp as a “modern upgrade” for the company as it looks to expand its distribution network.
“The original Chia Star brand was so neat and quirky, and it was hard to give up, but this rebrand was important as we look to get these products out into more of the marketplace,” Erb added.
Chia Star will introduce the new branding to its flagship line of chia seed and juice drinks in the coming weeks. Currently available in Whole Foods’ Northeast and Southeast regions the beverages are set to enter tri-state area speciality grocery chain King’s Food Markets, which has authorized placement of both the brand’s flagship chia beverages as well as the new shakes.
As Chia Star looks to increase distribution, Erb has begun the process of raising new capital. According to a January filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company has raised $260,000 in a seed round targeting $750,000. Erb indicated company will be pitching more potential investors in the coming weeks.
Erb revealed the new funding will also go towards supporting the upcoming launch of an HPP line of high electrolyte sports drinks, which will be powered by chia, high-antioxidant berries and natural trace minerals. Erb said she expects the Chia Star sports drinks to debut later this year.