Just when many Koreans started drinking detox juice and began to realize it’s edible, Organica Day, Herald Corp.’s juice-squeezing arm, decided to take it a step further and focus on vegetables by reducing the amount of fruit in its products.
“I am a little concerned about the sugar intake through fruit, even if it is fructose,” said Chung Hyung-ho, CEO of Organica Day, the producer of Just Juice Cleanse.
“I believe that vegetables are much better options for health. Our chef, New York-based Christine Cho, is working on improving the recipes to defy the perception that vegetables are less tasty. We also have our marketing team studying the public palate and their preferences,” he said, showing confidence in the products.
Organica Day CEO Chung Hyung-ho poses for The Korea Herald on Monday in Seoul. Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald
Currently, 11 blends of Just Juice Cleanse are made with organic vegetables and fruits, including coconuts, beets, cranberries, strawberries, apples, blueberries, pears, aronia berries, cucumbers, spinach, melons, chlorella, kale, citron and ginger. No sugar or other additives are added and the high-pressure processing preserves the freshness and minerals of the ingredients, the company said. These detox juices are believed to wipe away toxins and add minerals and vitamins to the body.
As part of efforts to focus more on vegetables, Organica Day is planning to add chia seed juice to its list of ingredients. In order to diversify the texture, smoothies will be added while protein juice will be introduced for health-conscious consumers.
“We started out the business as a fruit juice maker in 2013, but the latest trend in the U.S. is going greener and more veggie. I believe that Korea will follow that trend in the future,” Chung said.
“For detox juice novices, the drinks with more fruits are recommended as a snack or a single-meal replacement. For more experienced people, we recommend a 1- or 3-day cleanse, replacing all meals with more veggie juices. For the ‘hardcore users’ the 5-day cleanse program filled with nearly-all vegetable squeeze is recommended,” he said.
Chung’s confidence is based on the sales record -- In less than two years the company has gone from a daily production of 60 bottles to today churning out 5,000 bottles every day and supplying to selected Shinsegae and The Galleria department stores, as well as high-end supermarkets such as SSG and Star Super, alongside Artisee coffee stores across the country.
By the end of the year, Just Juice Cleanse will be available at nearly all department stores, discount supermarkets and large coffee shop chains. The daily production is also expected to rise to 7,500 bottles by then.
“We were there at the right time and the right place, just when people became keener in keeping themselves healthy and fit,” Chung said.
“People were willing to pay more. While Just Juice Cleanse is not particularly affordable for everyone, our customers shared our philosophy of focusing on health and safety and chose us. No immediate sweetness or freshness is detected at a sip, but it gradually grows on the palate and to the body, making people feel it is very healthy and somehow tasty at last,” Chung said.
Organica Day is also planning to expand its market. Within two years, it will expand overseas, Chung said.
“We are now in the stage of solidifying our domestic market status. But globalization is definitely on the cards. We are seeking to nail universally appealing tastes and marketing. You wait and see,” Chung said.
By Bae Ji-sook (firstname.lastname@example.org