Launched three months ago, his 290-calorie 16oz high-pressure-processed Chimp Food bottles - which retail at around $5.99 and contain a blend of 25 different berries, fruits (including the seeds, peel and stems), vegetables (including the skin), nuts and seeds - are now available in around 40 outlets in the Florida area.
Chimp Food bars- which retail at $2.95 and contain only nuts and dates (380-cal nut bars), and seeds and raisins (310-cal seed bars) - are also available in most locations that stock the drinks.
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The plan has always been to start small, understand the customer base, iron out any formulation and packaging issues, and then build slowly, Joseph tells FoodNavigator-USA.
“At the moment we’re still making the Chimp Food bottles ourselves [the bars are made in Chicago by a co-packer] and then sending them to Hyperbaric to go through the HPP process [which gives them a shelf-life of 45 days, but means they don’t have to add preservatives or lose nutrients, flavor or color], so if Whole Foods came along and said we want them in hundreds of stores tomorrow, I wouldn’t sleep for weeks.
“But I would love to get into Whole Foods. That would be the real test of our product. But I’d like to start with one store, then three, then 10 stores, and so on to see how things go.”
But just three-four months after launch things are already ramping up nicely, says Joseph, who started off by knocking on individual retailers’ doors, but is now talking to distributors (KeHE and UNFI) and brokers (Presence Marketing) about getting his products stocked in a wider range of outlets.
He’s also considering Amazon as he thinks the low shipping rates could help him reach a wider audience.