Some of you have been with us since we launched our business with a Kickstarter campaign. Others have just recently joined us, and more still came somewhere along the way. For our original fans, you know that we originally wanted to develop single-serve pods that are shelf stable and don't require refrigeration. But on the road of formula and then product development, once we conducted additional market research and talked to grocery and other retailers, it became apparent that we needed to re-order our product launch.
1. Grocery retailers told us that consumers would likely buy a box or two of the pods and keep it in their pantry every month, but they would buy a multiple-serving carton of nutpods every week. Grocery stores want more sales per product, so they were more willing to take us in the tetrapak format, and the distributors we spoke to about representing our line agreed.
2. If we had a smaller serving (16oz or less), consumers could still bring them into work since it wouldn't take up much size in the often-shared break room refrigerator.
3. The production requirements of minimum runs for the two different formats are vastly different. In broad general terms, the tetrapak format minimum is hundreds of thousands of units. For the pod format, a few million units. It simply wasn't feasible to launch with both formats in multiple flavors.
If you take a look at the competitive landscape in the creamer section, there are some very established brands: So Delicious, Silk (Whitewave owns both brands, by the way), and Califia Farms. But I kept coming back to this: I really believe that we have a solution that people want. And it is more than just about the format we come in.
We are about giving our consumers the ability to craft their perfect cup of coffee.
We're smooth, rich and creamy; not thin and watery. Who doesn't wish they could have half and half in their coffee, but without the dairy?
We're unsweetened so you have a choice over your preferred sweetener and sweetness level.
We have a clean label, proudly backed by third party certifications: non-GMO Project verified, Gluten-Free, Vegan and OU Kosher. And, you can feel good about not having artificial flavors, colors, carrageenan or soy in your cup.
There is a big difference between an MBA degree (studying about other companies and entrepreneurs) and actually building a company and putting your time, your life savings, and your reputation on the line. There is one thing I starkly recall from my education though: companies sometimes have to adapt, or pivot, in order to move forward. To those that are willing to wait for nutpods, we're grateful for your emails, comments and posts of encouragement. This road to market hasn't been easy. But, we are diligently working hard with you, our consumers, in mind.
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