Customer Stories, Food & Beverage

Healthy Hooch Case Study: A Corrugate Box for Conquering the Market

The kombucha company Healthy Hooch is just the kind of business two retired athletes would start up. Co-founders, partners, and former professional racing cyclists Shoshauna and Will Routley spent years fueling their bodies with the best food and drinks they could find. Bubbly, sweet-tart, and gut-health-boosting kombucha was the beverage they liked best. It delivered health benefits while also tasting like a treat.

15 years ago, when Will and Shoshauna were racing in Oregon, they stopped at a 7-11 and saw the beverage on tap. At the time, there were no Canadian kombucha brands. It felt like an opportunity to get ahead of what would obviously become a strong trend. So, in 2016, they packed in the bikes and decided to try their hand at food and beverage entrepreneurship. After all, they had a product they had no problem getting enthusiastic about.

Healthy Hooch was their flagship creation; a 100% organic kombucha in delectable flavours like tart cherry and pear ginger. Eventually, they created the Functional Beverage Group as a parent company for several health brands they created. Clearly, Will and Shoshauna still operate with the ambition and perseverance of two pro athletes. They estimate that they currently sell enough product that at least one person is drinking one of their beverages every minute of the day.

Healthy Hooch Kombucha Bottles Packaged in Corrugate

Great Little Box Company/Ideon Packaging (GLBC) supplies corrugated (cardboard) shippers to Healthy Hooch. On the surface, it’s a simple product with a singular mission: deliver bottles to retail locations without breakage. But when you have a brand like Will and Shoshauna’s, growth is the name of the game. And in a high-growth scenario, the value a simple cardboard box can offer becomes much more nuanced.

The Situation

Will and Shoshauna quickly learned that the grocery industry is all about volume. Consumers are exceptionally sensitive to price, and margins are supremely tight. Even if an entrepreneur is lucky enough to place their product in a store, they will have to pay many fees for that privilege. Hence, the ability to grow is tied to effectively controlling costs. But at the same time, those costs can’t be controlled at the expense of a certain standard of quality.

A corrugated shipper is a great example of the balancing act entrepreneurs like Will and Shoshauna have to pull off. It needs to be as inexpensive as possible, but if the quality isn’t up to snuff, they will lose value in other ways. For example, if the box doesn’t fold properly, efficiency is lost. If the material isn’t sufficiently robust, breakage occurs.

The Solution

Healthy Hooch Kombucha Corrugated Packaging


Fortunately, Will and Shoshauna have had a trustworthy packaging partner in GLBC for years now. When the time came to design a new corrugated (cardboard) shipper, GLBC designed a solution that struck the balance they needed. It was light enough to be handled by grocery staff, but strong enough to protect product. It had enough print to be functional, but not so much that it added unnecessary cost. It is consistent in quality and folds easily, enhancing efficiency. This is a box that truly supports growth.

The Result

 GLBC’s work with Healthy Hooch helped the company to:

  • Control costs: the box meets all functional criteria but doesn’t add unnecessary costs
  • Protect product: the material is robust enough to effectively prevent breakage
  • Support growth: the box strikes the balance between quality and cost control that enables growth in the food and beverage industry

Will, Shoshauna, and the Health Hooch/Functional Beverage Group are champions—an athlete’s grit and determination are in the DNA of their ventures. We have no doubt that their kombucha will eventually be on the shelves of grocery stores throughout the continent. It’s an honour to support growth like that.




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