People have discovered juicing, to the point where the verb has practically taken on a new meaning, like the ‘parenting’ itself. Still, the truth is, we’ve been drinking juice since we were kids.
Bundle Organics is something else. It’s the first and only line of organic, non-GMO juices made especially for expecting and new moms. Unlike traditional juices, all of the fruits and vegetables in Bundle Organics juices were chosen for their particular benefits, when it comes to supporting healthy fetal development and easing common pregnancy discomfort.
Not only do they taste good: they’re filled with folic acid, calcium, Vitamin D, Omega 3, and iron. All the good things that every body needs, in three fabulous flavor: Kale Apple Lemon Ginger, Orange Carrot Berry, and Dark Berry and Veggies
Founder John Mascari (‘08CC) talks about this new must-have for moms-to-be.
Tell us about the product.
Bundle Organics is a line of pasteurized organic juices designed especially for expecting and new moms. Our products were designed in partnership with an experienced advisory board, including a leading OBGYN and nutritionist, to ensure they included the key ingredients that pregnant women need to support healthy fetal development and ease common pregnancy discomforts. Bundle Organics’ juices are formulated with USDA organic fruits and veggies, such as apples, kale, berries, lemon and ginger, that are particularly beneficial for expecting moms. In addition, our juices were made to include just the right amount of nutrients to complement those that pregnant women are already getting from a prenatal vitamin, like folic acid, while also providing those that might be more difficult to obtain, even in a well-balanced diet – such as calcium, iron, omega-3, and vitamin D. It’s a delicious way for expecting moms to get the nutrients they need, while also safely enjoying the juice trend.
Bundle Organics offers three different juices: Kale Apple Lemon Ginger, Orange Carrot Berry Ginger, and Dark Berry & Veggies – all available for purchase directly from our website. Since the juices are pasteurized, they’re not only safe to drink during pregnancy, they’re also easy to ship and transport without refrigeration – which means you can order them without worrying about coolers or ice packs. We also offer a monthly bundled subscription that automatically delivers Bundle Organics to your door each month. Plus, all of our juices are available in convenient, grab-and-go 16 oz. bottles that are also BPA-free – so moms-to-be can sip worry-free. Expecting moms have enough to worry about during their 40 weeks and when baby arrives.
How is it different?
While there are other prenatal drinks on the market, Bundle Organics is the first and only line of organic, non-GMO juices made especially for expecting and new moms. Unlike traditional juices, all of the fruits and veggies in Bundle Organics juices were chosen for their particular benefits when it comes to supporting healthy fetal development and easing common pregnancy discomforts. Bundle Organics is also fortified with an extra “bump” of the vitamins and minerals that expecting and new moms often need in excess of their daily prenatal vitamin and have a challenging time getting from diet alone. We work closely with Dr. Errol Norwitz, a leading OBGYN, and Miriam Erick, a widely published perinatal nutritionist, to ensure that Bundle Organics juices are helping mom and baby get the nutrients that they need when they need it most. In addition, other juices are often very high in sugar, which is a particular concern during pregnancy, or are fresh-pressed and unpasteurized, which is unsafe for pregnant women. Bundle Organics has no added sugars or preservatives, and the juices are pasteurized to be safe for expecting mom and baby.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
There are ~4 million births in the US per year and the average woman in the US has two children in her lifetime. While the brick and mortar retail market for pregnant women is still growing, the Internet provides a perfect opportunity to reach this audience, wherever they are. Thanks to our eCommerce and direct-to-home delivery platform, we have access to moms-to-be all over the country. That said, our largest markets are coastal – New York (we’re based in NYC) and California. Given that we target a niche segment that is geographically disparate, our ability to deliver Bundle Organics juices right to expecting moms’ doors across the country is a critical piece of our strategy for reaching the market.
What inspired the idea?
My co-founder, Kwany Lui, and I created Bundle Organics because we had a lot of friends and family members who struggled to get the right balance of nutrients in their diet during their pregnancy. Even though most women take prenatal vitamins, everyone still worries about their nutrition and whether they are getting the minerals and vitamins they need from their diet. It was a surprise to us that prenatal vitamins won’t necessarily meet 100% of pregnant women’s daily vitamin and mineral needs. In addition to providing for your own health during pregnancy, you also need to take in large amounts of extra minerals and vitamins in order to grow a healthy baby. We knew there had to be a better way for prenatal moms to get the nutrients they needed without the worry. As health nuts ourselves and big fans of juicing, we thought: why not offer it through a tasty juice designed specifically for expecting moms to drink in addition to their prenatal vitamins, to get the extra ‘bump’ of nutrients they need?
Can your product be used by those not expecting or even males?
The fruits, veggies, vitamins and nutrients in Bundle Organics juices are delicious and convenient for everyone (men and women alike), but are especially beneficial for women trying to conceive, pregnant or nursing. Folic acid, for instance, is widely regarded as a crucial vitamin to consume in greater amounts from the moment you are thinking of conceiving. Breastfeeding women also need more folic acid, since it’s excreted in breast milk, at the mother’s expense. Also, many women are iron deficient, before, during and after they have children. Since blood is lost during childbirth and every month during menstruation, many women have reduced iron stores throughout their childbearing years. Just another reason Bundle Organics is good for post-pregnancy too. Our juices are a delicious and convenient way for expecting moms to get the nutrients they need, but anyone can enjoy Bundle Organics juices – after all, who doesn’t need more folic acid, iron, omegas, vitamin D or calcium?
What is the business model?
We launched Bundle Organics through eCommerce (www.bundleorganics.com), which has allowed us to gain scale quickly and overcome the barriers to entry into the food and beverage space. We have also been able to obtain distribution through a handful of other eCommerce platforms to expand our reach, such as through Amazon.com, Diapers.com, and Abesmarket.com. We initially launched through eCommerce and decided to market online for a few reasons:
1. Lower barriers to entry: For consumer products, grocery stores have incredibly long lead times to reviewing new products, and most only review certain categories once a year. Additionally, it takes a lot of capital and resources to get products on shelves and ensure they turn in-stores.
2. Access to more customers: Having an e-commerce store allows us to be geographically agnostic, and allows us to advertise to our customer target nationally, instead of in a particular city or region.
3. Convenience and privacy for the customer: For the majority of expecting moms in their first trimester of pregnancy, they aren’t ready to announce to the world that they are pregnant yet, but are already actively researching information and products online in the privacy of their own homes. We wanted to be able to allow them to shop privately online, and have Bundle Organics discreetly delivered directly to their door. Additionally, moms-to-be have enough to worry about during their 40 weeks – so this also makes getting healthy nutrition as easy and effortless as possible during this time in their lives.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
Over the next six months, we are focused on optimizing our eCommerce infrastructure and also growing our offline distribution.
Tell us about your experience with the Columbia Startup Lab thus far and your decision to apply.
The Columbia Startup Lab provides Bundle Organics with office space for the company to develop, while being in a supportive and educational environment. Part of the original appeal of the Columbia Startup Lab was its ability to bring together so many exciting and innovative businesses in a communal space, where each company can grow through collective learning. The experience thus far has been just that – from peers helping each other strategize around fundraising to the Lab’s SEM expert organizing a workshop on the subject, the Columbia Startup Lab has significantly contributed to Bundle Organics’ evolution since we’ve moved in.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be and why?
We have a tremendous amount of respect for Mickey Drexler and his ability to nurture companies like J.Crew, Apple and Warby Parker that have established iconic brands both online and in retail, and that consumers connect with on an emotional level. At Bundle Organics, we want to be a partner to mom-to-be and make her life a little easier during her pregnancy. We want to build a trusted relationship with her so that we are her go-to when she wants to ensure she’s getting the nutrition she needs for herself and baby. As we think about connecting with our customers and product innovation, we’d love to have someone like Mr. Drexler there to help us think about how to deliver a product and brand that truly resonates with our customer.
Why are you launching your business in New York?
There is a passionate, involved and supportive network of expecting and new moms, perinatal caregivers (OBGYNs, doulas, nutritionists, midwives, fitness trainers, etc.) and maternity-focused business owners in NYC. All of these folks have been extraordinarily supportive in giving us great feedback on our brand as well as helping us spread the word about Bundle Organics. We can’t imagine starting out in any other city.
What’s your favorite summer time beach destination close to NYC?
I haven’t gotten to the beach this summer – ask me again next year! In the meantime, my favorite way to get outdoors near NYC is to visit my siblings, niece and nephew out in Westchester were there are many great spots along the Hudson.