I remember being at the Natural Products Expo West (the Super Bowl of trade shows for the industry) several years ago, and I heard everyone buzzing about this Suja brand. The level of buzz surrounding the company was strong enough that it attracted investors, myself included, and it thereby created a "who's who" of consumer packaged goods (CPG) experts involved with Suja in some capacity.
This kind of network is invaluable and tough to put together organically. I don't think that most people invest based on "buzz," but occasionally there are products that create such a stir it's human nature to say, "Well, if person A, B and C are all in this, there must be something to it."
In Suja's case, the substance matched the hype, but the viral PR effect helped a lot in the early stages. Of course, you can't rely on buzz, but if you follow the advice below, you should increase your chances and might even be the next Suja.
1. The term disruption is overused for good reason.
Technology and connectedness are giving almost every industry a chance for a reboot, and consumer products companies are starting to become the beneficiary.
In Suja's case, the technology was in the form of creating organic high-pressure pasteurization juices and filling a need for consumers with busy lives who wanted something beyond your standard OJ. Do you know many millennials that drink orange juice?
For years we've been hearing that we need to eat more fruits and vegetables. I don't think that there's a person on the planet who isn't aware of that, but the practicality of doing so is hard for three main reasons: cost, convenience and nutritional value. Eating a big, varied mix of fruits and vegetables can be quite expensive. Even worse, it's not particularly convenient to cook/steam a bunch of vegetables if you aren't cooking meals at home, and having raw vegetables on the go isn't often easy. Finally, many people believe that, depending on how you prepare your fruits and vegetables, they can actually lose a lot of their nutritional value (through heating, mainly).
Read MoreWhich goods are worth buying organic?
Enter HPP juice and Suja. Some of Suja's juices cost as much as $8–$10, but when you consider the amount of fruits/vegetables included, it's not a bad deal. Even more encouraging, Suja has an Elements line with an MSRP of $3.99. This is truly for the masses, and Coke realizes that this could literally appeal to anyone who has a desire to be healthier.
The HPP process is still new, so not all experts are aligned, but I believe that a significant portion of the nutritional integrity is maintained, certainly more than many traditional cooking methods.