The US-based firm went as far as to get two new ingredients, which it uses, on the list of approved ingredients in organic-certified items in China.
The firm told FoodNavigator-Asia that due to “copyright reasons” it does not reveal the ingredients that were added to China’s approved list.
Sneakz Organic also created a brand new category of product, in addition to obtaining approval for the new ingredients, within just 22 months.
“Being one of few to achieve organic certification in China, we’re extremely pleased with the accomplishment,” said Jim Costa, principal and founder of Sneakz Organic.
“Our milkshakes met all the criteria by every definition, whether it was the formulation, ingredients, process, milk supply, manufacturing, warehousing, etc.”
Costa revealed to us that the new category was ‘Milk Drink’, which represents a product that is less than 100% milk, such as a beverage with organic veggies included in the product.
He said, starting between Q4 2018 and Q1 2019, Sneakz will begin shipping Sneaks Milkshakes (all three flavours of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate), Sneakz Meal2Go Nutrition Powder, Sneakz Kids Vegan Daily Nutrition Smoothie, Sneakz Meal Replacement Shake, Sneaks Vitamins On The Go, and Sneakz Vegan Protein to China.
Sneakz Organic Milkshakes are made with a propriety blend of US-certified organic vegetables and protein, to help children get their daily serving of veggies in a “good for you, fun for you” way. The shakes are shelf-stable and delivered in a convenient on-the-go style packaging so that families can enjoy them anytime, anywhere.
China market challenges
Costa further revealed that its biggest challenge in entering the Chinese market was explaining the benefits of Sneakz milk drinks versus regular flavoured milk.
Sneakz will use local Chinese health and wellness influencers, together with WeChat and other local partners, to explain the benefits of added vegetables and whole food nutrition.
He admitted that the differences between American and Chinese palates could also be a challenge.
Nonetheless, he said US organic milk is currently not affected by any import regulation despite the US-China trade war.
“Although the current trade climate is volatile, we do not expect any changes due to competitive price and quality of US organic milk versus local Chinese organic milk and closer importing partners, and the demand for organic milk is above what the Chinese market can currently provide,” said Costa.
Other Asian markets Sneakz has targeted include Malaysia by end of 2018 and Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, India and Korea by Q2 2019.
“Although vanilla and chocolate flavours are enjoyed around the world, we believe our Peach Mango flavour due to be released in Q4 this year will be particularly successful in the South East Asia market,” said Costa.
The firm stated that there was a significant opportunity in regions with growing nutritional needs, especially for children in Asian markets with extreme milk deficits. Leveraging the enhanced productivity and output of US dairy, especially in quality and price advantage, Sneakz hopes to support these countries and to bring its veggie-infused milkshake-style beverages to as many children and families in the region as possible.
“Knowing that it not only makes kids happier, but also healthier, makes all the difference,” said Jeff Robbins, CEO of Sneakz Organic.
In addition to Sneakz Organic Milkshakes, the company offers a non-dairy, vegan protein drink mix that also features a half-serving of the organic vegetable blend, high protein content and Ganeden BC30 probiotics.
Sneakz will also introduce a new meal replacement powder mix in the fall of 2018.
Sneakz Organic is a limited liability company (LLC), with several shareholders. The two principal working and majority shareholders are Robbins and Costa.