M’sian fruit juice brand is shutting down & seeking buyers

Looking at Smooshie Juice’s video clip from the Alliance Lender BizSmart Obstacle 2013, it felt like the pure juice brand was right here to keep. The co-founders, Lee Hai Lin and Lower Wan Chiun, ended up formidable, bold, and brilliant. At the stop of the video clip, Lin even mentioned, “the sky’s the restrict.”

9 decades down the road, it appears that the duo has met the sky. Co-founder Lin informed Vulcan Publish the group has determined to shut down Smooshie Juice.

That is not to say that Smooshie Juice hasn’t been fruitful for the duration of the previous decade. Considerably from it.

For a single, Smooshie Juice had near ties with Raise Juice Bars for a long time, giving to their kiosks for yrs. The juice was also stocked in supermarkets this sort of as Ben’s and Loved ones Mart. The business was even approached by cinemas and airlines to source juices as nicely.

Smooshie Juice was invited to the start of Fb Malaysia / Image Credit rating: Smooshie Juice

“At our peak, we equipped some 45 cafes/restaurants around KL and the Klang Valley, and even in Penang,” Lin shared. “We’ve also had a large amount of actually cool gigs, providing juices to launches and big gatherings, these types of as the launch of Fb Malaysia.”

So, specified its bountiful observe record, how did it all slide aside?

Initially, let us rewind

Lin and Wan Chiun are childhood friends who examined in Australia just before transferring back to Malaysia. They recognized a gap in the market place for pure fruit juices and for that reason quit their complete-time work opportunities, pouring their attempts into Smooshie Juice.  

“Both of us experienced unquestionably no experience in F&B or working a enterprise, so it was nuts!” Lin shared. “We definitely didn’t know what to assume, but we considered that Malaysia necessary good high quality, pure juices as there are so quite a few delightful nearby fruits accessible in this article.”

Immediately after months of R&D, they eventually opened a retail outlet in Berjaya Time Square in April 2011. In the beginning, persons had been not utilized to the juice. Some would complain that they weren’t sweet ample and insert packets of sugar. Nevertheless, the breakthrough last but not least came when Smooshie Juice determined to source to cafes alternatively.

“We examined out the juices at some cafes that we experienced contacts with, notably The Crimson Beanbag and Artisan Roast Café,” Lin stated. “The juices have been a strike, and we realised that café buyers have been our concentrate on sector, so we shut down our retail outlet and focused on distribution instead.”

But it was not sufficient

It was not just a single significant thing that made Lin and Wan Chiun decide on allowing Smooshie Juice. It was extra of a blend of various factors.

Very first of all, the raise in the expense of products, specially raw ingredients, designed a large influence on Smooshie Juice, which depends on 100% pure elements.

Co-founder Lin claimed that in advance of Smooshie Juice, the juices becoming marketed in supermarkets were higher in sugar or created of concentrates with included preservatives / Picture Credit rating: Smooshie Juice

The company has experienced to increase the rate of its juices a couple instances over the decades owing to price tag inflation, and that led to the reduction of source partners.

Whilst the group could have added drinking water or concentrates to the juice to lessen price, they refused to compromise on the high-quality of the juices.

“We felt that going down that route would defeat the reason of our existence in the initially put!” Lin mentioned.

But another major rationale why Lin and Wan Chiun are calling it a day with Smooshie is owing to their private commitments. Equally founders a short while ago grew to become to start with-time mums. Consequently, they’ve experienced less time to emphasis on the organization.

Nevertheless, it’s an amazing feat to have lasted this very long. On best of trim and efficient operations, the innovativeness of the staff is to be highly regarded as well.

Smooshie has also diversified from just juices to products this kind of as yoghurt, kefir, and reduce fruit. It has also collaborated with other brands to build new products. In the course of the MCO, the enterprise also utilized web advertising to provide the juices as cafes were shut and there had been no functions.

It’s time to transfer on

The breaking level came when the team was contacted by their customised bottle supplier, who informed them there would be a 30% increase in bottle prices.

Co-founders Lee Lin Hai and Lower Wan Chiun / Graphic Credit score: Smooshie Juice

This paired with the amplified costs of fruits and veggies manufactured the firm realise a large improve would be wanted to maintain Smooshie working. It was a transform that neither Lin nor Wan Chiun could manage specified their new roles as mums.

Lin and Wan Chiun are as a result holding an eye out for any individual who’s keen and able to go on Smooshie’s aspiration to make wholesome juices accessible to Malaysians. Lin believes there is lots of likely for Smooshie Juice specified its know-how, personnel, systems, contacts, machines, and list of current customers.

“All that is desired is some funding and men and women with the exact drive, enthusiasm, and insight that we had 10 years back when we ended up youthful,” she concluded.

For now, the two founders are focused on their own families, waiting around for a person to breathe new lifestyle into Smooshie Juice.  

  • Understand much more about Smooshie Juice below, and if you are intrigued in taking over the small business, you can get hold of them here.
  • Study a lot more content articles we have published about Malaysian startups in this article.

Featured Picture Credit: Smooshie Juice