Review: “Here” Juices
Covers Products: Pineapple, Celery, Apple, Turmeric and Basil, Apple, Beet and Ginger, Apple, Kale, Lemon and Wheatgrass, Orange, Zucchini, Spinach, Kale and Lemon
Here, which hails from Chicago, IL, is a company that is focused on producing food and beverage that utilize local, “farm to label” ingredients from the Midwest. Their portfolio of products includes dips, spreads, salad dressings, and this line of cold-pressed and high pressure processed (HPP) juices.
According to their website, the juice line features six flavors. We sampled four of these, including Beet Apple Ginger, Orange Zucchini Spinach Kale, Pineapple Celery Apple Turmeric Basil, and Kale Apple Lemon Wheatgrass. All of the products are packaged in round 12 oz. plastic bottles.
As for the flavors, they’ve done a solid job of creating formulations that are classic but, in most cases, have a unique twist. This is true of the Pineapple variety, which is, thanks to the celery and basil, complex and has both vegetal and sweet flavors.. Their Kale-based formulation, which features wheatgrass instead of ginger (the typical ingredient used in this blend), is another example. Orange Zucchini Spinach Kale Lemon is a completely original formulation and, for the most part, we think it’s pretty successful. We really like how the citrus flavors combine with the spinach and zucchini. Lastly, there’s the Beet Apple Ginger, which is a classic formulation that they’ve done a great job of executing.
One other thing that’s impressive about all of these flavors: they taste super fresh. That’s something that is becoming more and more of an afterthought with HPP beverages. Kudos to Here for bringing that back.
Nutritionally, these products are on the sweeter side of the cold-pressed juice category. They range from 110-156 calories and 21-29g of sugar per bottle. This all comes from fruit, but we do think that this might be a bit high for where the category is currently at (note: they do offer one “low sugar” formulation, but we did not get the chance to sample it).
From a packaging and positioning perspective, the product is very much about “local” and “Here.” But one of the first things that we noticed was that some of these ingredients, such as pineapple, lemon, and orange, definitely do not come from the Midwest. This is something that they address directly on the side of the label on the Pineapple flavor, but it still seems like something that is confusing given how much local is wired into the brand.
Finally, we wonder how viable it is to turn a word as common as “here” into a strong brand. While local is certainly a selling point, it also seems like something that can be turned into a limiting factor when it’s so much a part of a brand (case in point the note about the use of pineapple and citrus).
Overall, we have some concerns about how this brand might develop, but we appreciate what they are trying to do and the product that they’ve created. It’s tasty, refreshing, and clean, which are attributes that sometimes seem forgotten in many upstart brands.