Genius Juice's founder Alex is on Republic to disrupt a $2B market with his healthy, plant-based smoothies. Let's meet him!
Genius Juice Overview
What are you working on? Can you give us a brief overview of your company?
Genius Juice makes organic, plant-based smoothies using whole coconut as a base. We are selling in over 4,000 retailers nationwide and also online including Amazon.Com
What about you? Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to start this journey :)
I worked in insurance for over 7 years and would literally go out all day knocking on doors. Every morning, I made a smoothie and used real ingredients and blended them up, making a creamy, delicious breakfast snack that powered me through the day. On day at a friend's house, she blended me a whole coconut smoothie using the coconut water and coconut meat, and I fell in love with it and thought the idea was 'Genius' and this is what led to me creating this for the market.
What's your background? What is the unfair advantage that will make you succeed in this industry?
My background has heavily been in sales, selling insurance, copiers, and even cell phones/pagers in college. I also started different Ebay businesses selling video game consoles in High School and college literally shipping them out from a friend's garage to people all over the country. I have been an entrepreneur by heart for many years and just trying to find the right thing to pour my heart and soul into.
The unfair advantage is I am incredibly persistent and never give up, and continue until the job is done without any wavering.
The Business Model
What is your business model, and who are your customers?
Our business model is 2-fold. We sell wholesale to retailers across the country such as Whole Food, Albertsons, Costco, Target, and more.
In addition, we also sell direct to consumer online through Shopify and Amazon.Com
Our customers are health-conscious, progressive, and doesn't mind spending extra money to get real quality smoothies and drinks that will power them mentally and physically.
Did you already find a product-market fit? How do you acquire and retain your customers?
Consumers seem to be resonating with our product and mission to bring a better tasting and healthier smoothie to the market. Retailers are also looking for healthier, plant-based options and building out their sets with brands such as Genius Juice to add more incremental value.
We acquire customers through in-store promotions and demos to get people to try the product for the first time which is half the battle. We also acquire customers online through FB ads and social media conversions
How big is your operating market? Could you provide some independent research/insights?
The total addressable market for healthy, plant-based smoothies is over $2B with 25-30 % growth per year, especially in the organic plant-based sector. Also with our appearance on Shark Tank, the online food and beverage purchaser is an important market. The percentage of consumers buying online increased in 2020 from 5 % to over 20 % due to the pandemic and shift in consumer behaviors.
What's your competitive advantage, and how are you going to build a sustainable economic moat?
Our competitive advantage is making a better product with less ingredients and less junk. We are one of the few if only plant-based organic smoothies on the market NOT to have gums/emulsifiers, natural flavors, stevia, or added cane sugar. We also have the name and logo 'Genius' and 'Genius Juice' along with our head logo copyrighted and trademarked, which gives us a branding and marketing advantage with uniqueness on shelf.
Who is on your team? Is there a fun story behind it? If so, We'd love to hear more!
We have a small and mighty team. Our director of operations is a long-time veteran in the beverage space, building the 2 biggest kombucha companies in the world, GT Kombucha and Health-Ade Kombucha. We also have our QA manager who worked with REBBL Tonics, building them to nearly $40M as well. We have 6 different sales managers in LA, NY, PNW, and other key metro regions in the US. And we also have an advisory board of industry veterans that have built billion dollar beverage brands.
Where do you see you 5-10 years from now? What's your exit strategy?
Our strategy is to continue sustainably scaling, improving gross margin to a minimum of 35-40 % after tradespend and freight, and scaling national distribution in key retailers and building top-line revenue to over $20M.
With this strategy, we want to be acquired or given a minority stake investment by 2022 when we hit our revenue goals and ensure the company is as valuable as possible with strong margins and growth story.
What do you believe is the biggest risk for the company?
The biggest risk for the company is sourcing overseas from Thailand for our key ingredients: coconut water and coconut meat from organic young thai coconuts. We have de-risked this supply chain by creating multiple suppliers in case our primary supplier cannot supply us.