Customer Stories, Food & Beverage

tili: The Traditional Kid’s Juice Box, Reimagined

If you’re a parent, does your kid willingly eat green veggies? Chances are, you’re just like Darryl and Elayne McIvor, trying to nourish little ones who won’t come within ten feet of a sprig of broccoli. And that worry over whether the family is getting the nutrition they need is the worst, isn’t it? That’s why these two Vancouver-based entrepreneurs came up with tili. It’s a juice box that manages to fit two servings of organic veggies into a familiar, kid-approved package. All the convenience and fun of the juice box, all of the nutritional benefits of greens.

Darryl, tili’s CEO, explains that his two children weren’t “eating veggies like they should be. And I was also learning about how parents aren’t buying juice boxes like they used to because of the high sugar content. It seemed like there was an opportunity.”

Like many entrepreneurs, Darryl turned his kitchen into tili’s first lab. “I bought powdered greens, juice concentrate, and non-nutritive sweetener, and tried getting it to a place where it would work. Eventually, we hired a recipe formulator in California, and after many different versions, we landed on this one.”

The tili juice box that eventually made the grade is not only compulsively drinkable but boasts a range of benefits. How about 92% less sugar than your average juice box? How about 90% of your daily serving of vitamin C? And of course, there are the two servings of organic veggies per box.

“Our first big win was when I was trying to create it myself and realizing just how many greens I could put into the juice and have it still taste good. Getting families in the neighborhood to try it and actually enjoy it was exciting.”

Of course, there were challenges on the road to a market-ready product. “It was difficult to find someone to manufacture the actual juice boxes. I mean ‘juice boxes’ is certainly not a category that bodes well for small companies. It’s mostly really big companies, and not a lot of innovation, and minimum orders far exceeded what we needed starting out. It took a year to find a Tetrapak partner, and now we have a lot of boxes to sell! Good thing we believe in what we’re doing.”

Finding a partner to manufacture folding cartons to wrap around the juice boxes was, fortunately, an easier process. That’s how Great Little Box Company/Ideon Packaging (GLBC) ended up working with tili.

Juice-box-sleeve-tili

“Sustainability is a huge value of ours. We really didn’t want to pursue the industry standard of single use plastics. GLBC shares that concern with us. We came to them with the idea of cost-effective, recyclable packaging and they created our paper-based packaging. It was a great iterative process, and we got exactly what we wanted. It really stands out on the shelf. What we’re doing has never really been done and it was so amazing to work with a partner who understands that and was able to work within our constraints and our vision.”

tili’s major goal is to be available across North America, and they are on that path. Soon, they’ll be launching on Amazon. Distribution to retailers is growing steadily. “We’re just trying to get as many people as possible to taste it. Once they do, growth happens.”

We are so sure that it will! tili’s juice boxes answer an urgent need for families who want to nourish their kids with less fuss and more fun. We’re so proud to support a mission like that.

 

 

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