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EP 4: Why are Cold Pressed Juices so expensive? What exactly is the consumer getting?

Happy Lunar New Year from the Cold Press Index team. During this festive season of red packets and celebration of family and Chinese tradition – wanted to address the concept of money.

Why are Cold Pressed Juices so darn expensive?

Our cheapest item on the menu would be Sweet Beets (R1) - $8.50. Let’s break down the cost structure:

Let’s dig deeper into each individual line item:

1. An example of the fruits/veggies at Cold Press Index – We take sourcing very seriously - we only procure the absolute best

Our hunt for top grade ingredients has a certain cost requirement.

At Cold Storage, you would find a kilogram of Australia Celery selling for $4.5 while at Sheng Siong you would find China Celery selling for S$2.7 (40% cheaper!).

2. Plastic bottles/stickers: Wholesale strategy

3. Labor: Incredibly tough given Singapore’s blue-collar crunch

4. Rent: Absolutely insane landlords

5. Depreciation: Initial upfront cost can range from 50-150k per store

6. Excess Inventory: Unavoidable (juices will spoil, fruits/veggies are highly perishable)

7. Financing Cost: Market rate cost of funds

8. Marketing Cost: Acquiring new customers

So, despite being in an insanely low margin industry – I must be absolutely crazy to be doing this?

The mission compels me daily. It is my destiny to transform the juice industry in Singapore. To construct affordable, high quality and convenient plant-based nutrition.

What is wrong with the juice industry in Singapore?

  • High Pressure Pasteurization. Go to little farms/salad stop/cold storage and find a bottle of juice labeled as cold pressed juice and look at the expiry date. You would notice that the expiry date ranges from 1-3months. How can this be truly fresh? These juices could be packaged from India or Indonesia and shipped over. Top tip: if the juice has an expiry date longer than 5 days it is not raw/fresh

  • Pretext of fresh/healthy. The biggest smoothie bar in Singapore with the green branding has 27 outlets. Observe what happens behind the counter. Ingredients such as: sorbet, frozen fruits, ice. Exactly how many grams of fruits and veggies is inside that smoothie cup? I reckon 50-100 grams max.

  • Organic labelling. There are cold pressed juice companies in Singapore that brand themselves as organic while using non-organic produce. This is simply impossible. A carton of regular Fuji apples cost 35-40$. Conversely, a carton of organic apples from Zenxin Organic ranges from S$120-160/carton. To sell organic juice – each 250/300ml bottle of juice would need to be priced at S$16-25$/bottle.

The mission compels me. To make people healthier. To fix the wrongs of the industry. This is my destiny.

· To do something that the world needs

· To do something that I enjoy

· To do something that I’m good at

· To do something that makes me money

This is my ikigai. I am uncertain about the fourth bullet, but that is okay.

There’s always music in the gardens, but our hearts got to be still to hear it.

Best, Caleb (Founder of Cold Press Index)

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