Florida-based Sneakz Organic sells its shelf-stable line of milkshakes throughout the US and online, marketed toward kids but appropriate for all ages. The drink comes in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavors and is certified USDA organic and naturally gluten-free.
The milkshakes are shelf stable and infused with vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, spinach and beets for a high-protein, vitamin-rich snack. After finding success in the US market, the company wanted to expand to China without compromising on the organic labeling.
The company said China is strict on food and beverage labels, and obtaining an organic certification is especially difficult.
According to Sneakz Organic, the process took nearly two years because, “if an ingredient is not included on the list prior, the company must work to adjust its formula or work to get the ingredient approved before they can receive the certification.”
Sneakz Organic managed to create a brand new category of product and add two of its ingredients to the approved list in order to obtain the organic certification. It will start shipping its beverages to the Chinese market in September 2018.
A 'no debate' mindset
Jim Costa, principal at Sneakz Organic, said, "The time has finally come. It's been an incredible 22 months to get us to where we are today and being one of few to achieve organic certification in China we're extremely pleased with the accomplishment.”
“From day one we had a clear 'no debate' mindset entering into this journey, where we were heart set against removing the word 'organic' from our packaging for the Chinese market. Our milkshakes met all the criteria by every definition, whether it was the formulation, ingredients, process, milk supply, manufacturing [or] warehousing."
Sneakz Organic was particularly interested in expanding the company to China, even though the US remains its primary market. According to the brand, Asia presents a significant opportunity for fulfilling growing nutritional needs, especially for children in Asian markets with extreme milk deficits. Sneakz hopes to use the US’ overproduction of dairy and price advantage to support these struggling countries.
The brand also offers a powdered drink mix-in that is completely non-dairy. Like the RTD milkshakes, each serving contains half a serving of daily vegetables and is available in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry high-protein flavors.
Jeff Robbins, CEO of Sneakz Organic, said, "We are very focused on delivering quality products that are healthy, good tasting and put smiles on kids' faces… Knowing that it not only makes kids happier, but also healthier, makes all the difference. We hope to continue growing the brand and helping to make the world a little better than it was when we first entered it."