‘Shark-Tank’ gives aspiring entrepreneurs and businesspersons a platform to showcase their product or idea and elevate their small-scale business into something world-famous. This multi–Emmy Award-winning show features entrepreneurs who present their products or ideas to industry leaders, lovingly called Sharks. The Sharks then use their experience to decide which business would be profitable for them to invest in.
The ensuing negotiations between the Sharks and the entrepreneurs are thrilling to watch. Hoping for elevation, one such product featured in season 12 is NuMilk, which offers an exciting alternative to pre-packaged vegan milk. The innovative and creative idea made us curious to learn more about where the company is today, and here’s what we found out!
NuMilk: Who Are They and What Do They Do?
A genius alternative to pre-packaged plant-based milk, NuMilk gives the customer an option to make fresh almond milk at select stores before purchasing it. Joe Savino and Ari Tolwin conceived this idea of making fresh almond milk and giving customers the option not to choose other pre-packaged plant-based milk laced with preservatives. However, Joe was the one who invented the NuMilk machine.
Both Joe and Ari are veterans of the beverage industry, with Ari co-founding Happy Tree Maple Water in 2013, where he served as a CEO for nearly four and a half years. Joe co-founded the harvest beverage group, where he worked for over five years. The idea was born out of the need for delicious, nutritious, and pure dairy-free milk. According to Joe and Ari, there was a need to get rid of additives, like gums and emulsifiers, used in many conventional brands. Plus, they also wanted their products to be raw, natural, and organic.
The duo insists that with the NuMilk process, they were also able to heavily cut down on a lot of supply chain food waste. They put up machines in select locations and stores, making it possible for customers to get freshly-made organic almond milk. The machines are equipped with water filters and contain built-in cleaning systems. Furthermore, each machine is remotely connected to the internet and can be tailored to the demands of the customers of that specific place. At the press of a button, the machine produces pure almond milk without any preservatives or additives.
The only ingredients needed are almond and purified water. Customers also have the choice to add maple syrup if they want it sweetened. The shelves near the machine are stocked with empty bottles that the customer needs to get and hold near the spigot to get a bottle of fresh almond milk costing $3.99. At present, the flavors offered by NuMilk are their original almond milk along with chocolate and barista oat milk.
NuMilk: Where Are They Now?
Founded in 2017, NuMilk has grown by leaps and bounds in the following years. After its conception, NuMilk machines were spotted at the New Jersey whole foods market with a promise from the company to roll out more machines across the country in 2019. The company’s internal data revealed that its machines had already seized up to 30% of in-store market shares from its other packaged non-dairy milk competitors. The company also brought in top talent from the beverage and tech industries and raised roughly $10 million in financing from investors.
Presently, NuMilk machines can be found in New Pioneer Food Co-op in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, New World Café in Raleigh, North Carolina, and whole foods markets in New York. It is also available in various brick-and-mortar grocery shops, primarily based out of New York City. It has also introduced new flavors like Matcha Oat Lattes. The company plans to expand its footprint across the United States and service more locations, aiming to increase its offerings from milk to plant-based shakes and lattes to attract a broader customer base.
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