It's been about 7 years since I was in MBA school, but today, this lesson came back to me from the classrooms in dolby-surround sound.
"Good. Cheap. Fast." came to mind. In a nutshell, you can only fulfill 2 characteristics, but not all three. We have had a tremendous turnout for people that are excited and eager to try nutpods. We love our supporters but the truth is, we cannot be everything to all people. When we created our company, I knew what I wanted as our corporate values. I can't be high-quality ingredients and priced at .02/pod and in the market in 3 months.
So as in a good marriage, I learned compromise on what was most important to me for nutpods:
1. Portability: I don't want to carry my homemade nutmilks in my mason jar and a cold pack anymore. This means I need a pod that can withstand the aseptic manufacturing process so we are shelf-stable and don't require refrigeration. Believe it or not, it's much more difficult than I would have thought to find a recyclable creamer cup that can withstand the aseptic process AND in the bigger size that we want for less waste. Who wants to throw away 4 of those OTHER little creamer cups when you can use say, 2 nutpods creamer cups. How about a custom cup require high minimums and an expensive tooling fee. We need time to allow us as a company to build up to that minimum order and tooling fee or at least explore other options that are being developed. Meanwhile, we can look to other areas where we can reduce our carbon footprint.
2. High Quality ingredients: Two examples of this are: we use coconut sugar for French Vanilla and Original. I am insistent on not having carrageenan in our ingredients. Yes, carrageenan is considered "natural" being derived from red seaweed. You'll find it in about 90% of almond milks - shelf stable or refrigerated. But I'm uncomfortable with the research that keeps coming out about the detrimental effects of carrageenan even though I'm told it works like a dream as a stabilizer and emulsifier. It took us several iterations to work with other stabilizers and I'm happy to say that we think we nailed it.
3. Premium Pricing but not Prohibitive Pricing: Our ingredients are high-quality ingredients and will be priced to reflect our costs to manufacture and produce a high-quality product. But I don't want it to be so expensive that only a very small segment of consumers can afford nutpods. I want the public to have all access to a better option for a better option; a wholesome option.
There will be people that choose to continue to make their own creamers at home and will faithfully pack and carry them because they're home creamer/milks aren't "processed". There will be people that object to our cups being not compostable/recyclable (for now) because of issues about our foot-print (which honestly, we care about too!) and others yet that only eat organic. I respect them all for the choices they make in order to be true to their own personal beliefs. I've learned to make peace with the fact that nutpods can't be all three. We won't be Good. Cheap. Fast.
But we'll be portable with quality ingredients. And I can accept that with pride.
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