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EP 5: Cold Pressed Juices Need To Be More Like A Microwave Oven

When the first microwave oven hit the market in 1955, it cost roughly $12,000 in today's dollars. These days, you can pick up one at Walmart for $50 or even $20 from Shopee.

It's not hard to figure out why the cost dropped so dramatically. Microwaves had new features that customers liked, and they did some things better than gas or electric ovens. As demand for them rose, more companies got into the game, finding ways to make them more efficiently, building supply chains, and driving the price down. As microwaves got cheaper, more people bought them, which attracted more innovation, and so on in a virtuous cycle.

Most Cold Pressed Juices are significantly more expensive (S$8.50-20/bottle) than what we're trying to replace (Bubble Tea, Boost Juice, Mr Coconut, Starbucks/Coffee Centrifugal/HPP Juice), a cost difference I call Health Premium. While each bottle of cold pressed juice packs 0.5-1kg of fresh fruits/vegetables, the common pushback that I get is that it is still too pricey and inaccessible for regular consumption. A few minutes later, that same customer goes to a bubble tea shop and orders a cup for $6.50 (added sugar, syrup, ice and water). Or, heads to Boost Juice to order a berry bang for $6.90 (sorbet/syrup, frozen fruits, some fresh bananas, and ice).

This is bad news for Cold Pressed Juice companies in Singapore. There is tons of customer education to be done, and on our end - we need to find a way to reduce the cost of a bottle of Cold Pressed Juice.

Before we proceed - we need to set some general parameters on what a quality cold pressed juice is.

  1. Fresh vegetables and fruits (Tier 1 - not Tier 2)

  2. High quality juicer (extraction at slow rpm/minimal heat)

  3. Freshly squeezed + Bottled Immediately

  4. Stored at 2-5 degrees (slow down the oxidation of nutrients)

What is a reasonable price that we can land at

6-6.9$ is the golden number (we are offering these prices through our pressed membership). To achieve this, we need a couple of variables

  1. Direct import of fruits/veggies - cut out the wholesaler, no middle man spreads. Direct import from Malaysia

  2. Landlords such as REITS to price rental contracts at sub average PSFs and to charge GTO instead of fixed rental

  3. Scale - we need the number of competitors in the cold pressed juice industry to shrink. If the current TAM is $30 million SGD, we need that number down to sub 5 players. I think COVID has led to the attrition of a couple of players and the number of cold pressed juice players in Singapore has shrunk from 12 to less than 5.

  4. Government support - I think the recent sugar grading by SFA will be a huge push towards elevating the consciousness of Singaporeans. This will reduce the demand for sugary drinks like bubble tea, bottled juice, carbonated drinks. I genuinely believe that plant-based cold pressed juices are the future for takeaway F&B drinks - but this trend of acceleration will be albeit, slow.

Why am I trying to make Cold Pressed Juices affordable?

The footprints that we leave on the sand - can be magical. When juices are affordable, they become more accessible. Accessible to the white/blue collar worker. Accessible to the cancer patient, the patient with autoimmune disease. The parent with high cholesterol, diabetes.

The impact that cold pressed juices can do to one's health is grossly underestimated. In the first quarter of 2023, two stories come to my mind:

  1. A customer (lady) who has Rheumatoid Arthritis (autoimmune disease) and couldn't leave her room due to pain. She couldn't eat any solid food and called me to enquire on a 5 day juice cleanse.

  2. A customer (lady) with multiple sclerosis (MS) in the hospital and desperately looking for celery juice to reduce her inflammatory markers.

There is a huge army of people in Singapore with chronic diseases/stress, cancer, autoimmune diseases hiding behind the door. These army of people do not leave the house. They go to the supermarkets just before closing to avoid the crowd. Conventional western medicine, specialist are simply not helping (and are extremely costly)

The mission that we are doing at Cold Press Index is truly special. But, we need to attain scale - in order to achieve that exponential impact of making people healthier.

My goal for 2023 at Cold Press Index -

  1. Serving customers at minimally 5 physical stores: Mapletree Business City, Marina One, One-North, Pasir Panjang, NeWest

  2. To stop pulling people out of the river. And go upstream to figure out why they're falling in

To do this, we need to work very hard, be a good person, tell the truth, be honourable, protect the people we care about, be polite to everyone and make as much money as we can. And lastly, to find other guys that are on the same mission as me.

Best Regards,

Caleb Pang

CEO/Founder of Cold Press Index

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