For three years, Joseph said he “hung on pretty tight” and was able to quickly expand distribution for Chimp Food, which is a blend of whole fruits – seeds, rinds and all – in an easy to drink format, but ultimately he said he “didn’t have the money to support everything that was needed to keep up the active pace.”
Repeated attempts to attract investors ended at the same two dead ends: they either didn’t understand what Chimp Food was or they worried they name would be a turn-off to potential consumers, Joseph said.
“So, with my money dwindling, I stopped what I was doing – put the brakes on everything – and started rebranding Chimp Food” as Food Drink, Joseph said.
He said the new name better explains what is inside each bottle – “food” in the form of whole fruit and some leaves from vegetables that is blended so people can easily drink their meals.
The brightly colored bottles reinforce this message with images of whole fruits with spiraled peels, leaves and stems, and a clear description that each bottle contains “Fruits, Veggies, Nuts & Seeds” and also “ultra-healthy peels, pulp & seeds.”
The inclusion of nuts, seeds and peels sets the product apart from juices and makes it “a food you drink,” Joseph said, adding that this is not only the next generation of juicing but an entirely new beverage category.
The labeling also boldly calls out what is not in the product: No added sugar, no preservatives, no additives and no chemicals. These call-outs position the brand as hitting several macro-trends, as does the claim “Plant-Based Whole-Food” across the top of the bottle.
With the new image and new name – but same tried and true product formula as Chimp Food – Joseph says he is “ready to come back bigger, better and stronger.”
Looking for upwards of $2 million
He just needs the funds to do it.
“Last time, no doubt I was under-capitalized. Before I was doing everything bootstrapped and everything we were doing was as cheap as we could, but that isn’t a way to run a business – especially when you are looking at rapid growth. So, I learned that you don’t want to go into this industry without deeper pockets,” Joseph said.
He is currently hoping to raise between $500,000 and $2 million in early stage, series A growth funds.
The funds will go first to cover the cost of manufacturing, and to hiring sales staff. After that funds will be directed to marketing and consumer outreach in the form of in-store demos in order to create a sustained cycle of cash flow to scale up – smartly this time, Joseph said.
To help woo potential investors, Joseph claims that FoodDrink will have “great profit margins” thanks in part to using the whole fruit, which means Food Drink needs only four oranges to every 10 that it takes competitors to fill a bottle.
He also is marketing his know-how as a tested entrepreneur who already understands manufacturing and how to work with big name retailers. Plus, he has already learned several lessons the hard way and doesn’t need to again, he said.
Ever the optimistic, he says with help from investors, “we are ready to pioneer a new path.”