“She particularly disliked greens, so I made it my mission to find ways to get greens in her,” Manges told FoodNavigator-USA.
“Our first product was a green smoothie, which has two cups of spinach... in a bottle, we blend to get all the fiber that juicing leaves behind,” she added. “It’s a better version of a Naked juice, it has half the sugar, half the calories”
The company name Green Mustache comes from the small ‘mustache’ one gets while drinking the smoothie, a play on the milk mustache. It reflects the fun-loving approach to vegetables Manges wants for the brand she founded three years ago. “Greens are the basis of everything we do,” she said.
Expansion into snacks
At the Sweets & Snacks Expo in May, the company introduced Mustache Munchies, standing pouches of vegan and gluten-free mustache-shaped crackers.
“When I started the company I knew that I wanted to create more than just 20 smoothies,” she said. “I wanted a company with different products that made healthy eating fun and easy.”
The bite-sized, cheese-ish crackers (it is vegan, after all), were designed to resemble Goldfish crackers because of the fun associations consumers have with them. “It’s a fun snack that’s familiar that we updated and made healthier,” Manges added.
Mustache Munchies contain 4g of protein per serving and are made of chickpea flour. The first product to launch, Cheddar-ish, contains kale puree, pea protein, yeast extract, ground chia seed, and annatto powder for color.
Two other products, Parmesan Rosemary and Spicy-ish, are slated to launch to the market sometime this month.
Starting slow in local specialty and independent stores
The small company—mostly self-funded with a family and friends round of funding—is mainly distributed in stores in the Northeast, particularly the New York City metro area.
“The best route to market was the traditional one, going into independent and specialty food stores who will really give new products a chance,” Manges said.
To date, Green Mustache juices and snacks are sold in around 100 stores. When the company is ready to scale for a bigger market, Manges is keen to explore opportunities with bigger distributors, and has three to four more new products in mind.
But for now, Manges said her brand is doing well in the independent and specialty channel. “They have customers and buyers that are looking for things that are healthier, and willing to give things a shot,” she said.